Fame Star now eyes EW Barker Trophy, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Fame Star now eyes EW Barker Trophy

John O'Hara-trained US-bred unbeaten in last four starts

Fame Star is now aimed at the feature races after his four-in-a-row feat at Kranji on Sunday.

"The plan is to now set him for the EW Barker Trophy," said trainer John O'Hara's assistant, Stephen Crutchley.

The $400,000 Group 2 EW Barker Trophy is a handicap race over 1,400m on Nov 8.

Whichever weight he gets, Fame Star is likely to attract a few points from the handicapper after his latest pulsating win with leading apprentice jockey Simon Kok Wei Hoong astride. He raced with 86 points.

The main message derived from the typically bold front-running display in the $85,000 Wild Geese 2014 Stakes, a Class 2 race over 1,200m, was that he can definitely mix it with the best - and come up trumps.

At his first test in such company, the US-bred four-year-old by Twirling Candy was taking on a small but select field spearheaded by no less than last year's new sprint sensation, Bold Thruster.

The black son of Turffontein might have found one better at his first two starts for his new handler Michael Clements, but he was still widely favoured to finally stamp his class on Sunday.

Unfortunately, the top pick was never a threat to Fame Star, who from the moment he hit terra firma to grab the lead, got away fairly cheaply with a soft lead before kicking clear upon straightening.

Caught three wide in midfield throughout, Bold Thruster stunningly had nothing left in the locker when jockey Joseph Azzopardi pulled the whip at the 300m mark.

With the biggest danger not in a winning mood and out of the equation, the coast was clear for Fame Star to keep hitting the line strongly, although he did shorten up a touch at the business-end of the long course.

One length astern, Dragon Duke swooped down late to pinch second place from Be Bee (Matthew Kellady) by a head.

The winning time was 1min 09.07sec.

"I'm very happy he beat some good horses today. We tend to panic when we come up against horses like that, but he proved to be a very smart horse," said Crutchley.

"He had only 53.5kg on his back, but he still won a nice race.

"It was a big test against Bold Thruster, but he's got great gate speed and he was too good, especially with the light weight today playing a big part."

Kok said he held Fame Star for as long as he could as he was on the long course.

"He has a good turn of foot but the burst may not be as long on the long course," said Kok.

"I had to ride him more patient, save more petrol for the last bit, and luckily, he did the right thing."

Fame Star has amassed close to $330,000 in prize money for Toast Trusts & Kadima Stable, from six wins, six seconds and a third from 15 starts.

The O'Hara yard secured a rare race-to-race double after $8 favourite Born To Win (jockey Noh Senari) opened his account in the $30,000 Stepitup 2015 Stakes, a Class 5 Division 2 race over 1,400m.

Born To Win made amends from his luckless last start when the runs didn't appear.