Group 1 winner Fiveandahalfstar is yet to reach peak condition over three competitive starts this time in, but is offered his best chance of a return to the winner’s circle over the 2400m of Saturday’s Group 1 The BMW, according to trainer Anthony Freedman.
A standout performer over the 2013 edition of the Autumn Carnival, Fiveandahalfstar ran second in each of his first four starts, including both the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) before securing a second victory at the highest level in The BMW.
Spending close to two years in the paddock will a severe tendon injury and strong of minor ailments, the Hotel Grand gelding placed a credible sixth when stepping up to 2000m in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes a fortnight ago and is sure to relish another leap to a mile and a half come Saturday.
Having completed a good piece of work on Tuesday morning, Cummings is confident the five-year-old is in the right form to chalk up another Group 1 victory in the 2015 The BMW.
“I am very pleased,” Cummings told Sky Racing.
“He had a nice gallop this morning, he just went around nice and collected and he looked really good.
“He was pretty keen, he wanted to go quicker and it was probably the best that he has pulled up from a gallop this preparation.
“It looks a tough enough race on Saturday, but he is one of the few horses that has already won the race along with Silent Achiever and she ran second to him the previous year.
“We are pleased to see him get back to his right type of form.”
Stamping his claims as one to watch over the 2012 Spring Carnival, Fiveandahalfstar ran fifth in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m); taking out two minor events before securing his first Group 1 win in the Victoria Derby (2500m).
The 2015 The BMW final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 The BMW odds, for which Fiveandahalfstar is a rated a generous $19 chance for success.