This weekend’s Group 2 Warwick Stakes will be an important first sighter for a number of horses, not the least Bruce Hill’s talented galloper Startsmeup.
On the back of an encouraging campaign earlier in the year the gelding is tipped for big things over the spring and a Warwick stakes win would be the ideal start.
He’ll leave his Gold Coast base on Wednesday night arriving in Sydney with enough time to settle in before Saturday’s event.
Hll’s son in-law Paul Hammersley will pick up the ride in what’s shaping as a cracking 1400m weight for age contest.
The trainer has already gone on record as saying he believes Startsmeup is capable of delivering him a maiden Group 1 win.
His abilities were really driven home when he finished his winter campaign a month ago with a devastating victory over 1350m at Doomben.
His four year old spring season at this stage will be confined to the Sydney spring carnival however Hill hasn’t ruled out extending it to Melbourne as well for the Group 1 Toorak Handicap over 1600m at Flemington.
“I’m not sure how many runs he’ll have in Sydney and I’ll wait and see how he goes in the Warwick Stakes first,” Hill said.
“If he happened to win then we’d have to look at the Epsom Handicap with him.”
Hill is very keen to get him into that Group 1 contest on October 1st which is why this weekend’s Warwick stakes is so important.
On the heels of Startsmeup will be his other spring hopeful Warrior Within which heads down a week later.
He is the Grafton Cup champion and recently ran second to Fantastic Blue over 2200m at Doomben in the first week of August.
He’ll get his chance at redemption though, both horses likely to meet again in the Group 3 Newcastle Cup midway through September.
Before that he may also have a crack at the Grafton Cup on a regional cups program expected to stretch all the way into Victoria.
“I gave Warrior Within an easy week after his last run as he’s had a few tough runs,” Hill said.
“He’ll probably go to Sydney next week and he could run in the Wyong Cup before the Newcastle Cup.”
In terms of top flight success though that will be left to Startsmeup who is already no stranger to black type events in the southern states.
He narrowly missed out on an unexpected Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes win in the autumn when Bullbars just held on across 1400m at Flemington.
He got his first taste of Group 1 action in the Australian guineas and although only finishing 10th, it wasn’t a bad run six lengths off the impressive Shamrocker
Hill maintains his horse looks even better as a four year old and is expecting big things of his gelding across the next couple of months.
“He’s brilliant and has trained on well since his last win,” Hill said.
“His work is the best it’s been