Fifty Stars (IRE) On Track for Doncaster Mile

Mark Smith - Sunday March 17

A fortnight after capturing the Group II Blamey Stakes at Flemington, Victorian-trained Fifty Stars (IRE) travelled to Sydney for Saturday's Group II Ajax Stakes at Rosehill and took until the final few strides to keep his Doncaster Mile dreams alive.

After racing handy to the lead, the favourite looked in trouble when failing to respond to the urgings of Jye McNeil before seeming to pick up the bit over the last 100 metres to run out a neck winner over the rallying Mask Of Time with Dyslexic another short neck away in third. (images Steve Hart)

"My first winner in Sydney and no better way to do it," McNeil said. "Big thanks to Gerry Ryan the owner and Dean Lester who helps with my form. It's good to have the loyalty of the Hayes team.

"It's the first time he has been in the wet for a while although he was good in it earlier in his career.

"When they kicked he really floundered a bit but over the late stages he was really tough.

"I think he stays in Sydney and goes on a Doncaster path with a light weight and off that he has to be in the mix as a good lightweight chance. I can ride the weight so I will definitely be putting my hand up."

Formerly trained by Darren Weir, Fifty Stars (IRE) was having his third run for David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig.

"I was a bit worried at the 100m mark, but I think he just laboured a little bit but once he got his balance, he really found the line. It was a good effort, he's a colt, and he's building a good record," Dabernig said.

"He's naturally a fit horse and if he pulls up well we will look at going to the Doncaster for him. That would be the logical plan. Now that he is out to that distance range, he is building a really good record. He was there to be beaten today."

The 4yo entire was a 110,000 guineas purchase by bloodstock agent John Foote out of the Airlie Stud draft at the 2016 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.

The son of the champion Sea The Stars is out of the unraced Sadler's Wells mare Swizzle Stick who is a half-sister to the Group II winner and Irish joint champion two-year-old filly of 2012, Viztoria (Oratorio).

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