Orr test to start Crosshaven’s autumn
Tom Dabernig only has to look at the results of the Orr Stakes to know it is a worthy assignment for his three-year-old gelding Crosshaven.
Last year the race was taken out by Mike Moroney’s Alabama Express, who became the sixth three-year-old to win since 2000.
Dabernig confirmed Crosshaven would resume in Saturday’s Group One Orr Stakes over 1400 metres at Caulfield after tuning up for his return with a narrow win in a Geelong trial over 1000 metres last Thursday.
“Taking on older horses at weight-for-age is never an easy task but he’s a real talent,” Dabernig said.
“He’s your classic tough horse who gives his all. By the way he’s training we think he’s in for a good autumn and we’ll find out how good he is.”
Last spring Crosshaven flew under the radar but ended it as one of the better horses in his age group.
From his last four starts Crosshaven scored three wins with his only defeat a fourth in the Caulfield Guineas.
His victories included two Group Three races, the Caulfield Guineas Prelude and the Carbine Club Stakes at Flemington where he defeated his stablemate Aysar.
Dabernig said the main focus for Crosshaven would be the Australian Guineas against his own age at Flemington on February 27 over 1600 metres.
He said they were also looking at the All-Star Mile the following week at The Valley.
Crosshaven is high in early voting and currently sits in 12th place but Dabernig says the horse’s form will determine if the All-Star Mile is an option.
“He’d need to be in good form and have run well in the Australian Guineas,” Dabernig said
Stablemate Fifty Stars will also return to racing in the Orr Stakes and Dabernig believes he’s likewise in for a good preparation.
Fifty Stars finished fourth in a 1200 metre trial behind Sir Dragonet at Geelong last Thursday in an effort which pleased his co-trainer.
Fifty Stars finished fourth in last year’s Orr Stakes when he was first up but Dabernig said he was far more forward in condition this year.
He said Fifty Stars would follow the same program as last year when he won the Blamey Stakes and Australian Cup.
“If he ran well in the Orr Stakes we’d go into the Blamey and Australian Cup with a degree of confidence,” Dabernig said.