Ruby’s Star eyes big prize
A RACEHORSE owned by a Ruby family could contest the prestigious Warrnambool Cup on May 2.
King’s a Star won the Stawell Cup on March 31 and the Traralgon Cup on December 9, both worth $50,000.
Now the five year old gelding is vying for a spot in the line up of the $200,000 Warrnambool event.
Owners Robert “Digger” and Kerri (CORRECT) McFarlane and their daughter Brittany have been amazed by the late bloomer’s recent success, after taking 29 starts to secure a win.
“People have owned horses for years and they have never been able to win and we have won two cups in 12 months,” Digger said.
Country racing cup host, Rob Gaylard, believed King’s a Star could be in the running for the title of Victorian Country Horse of the Year.
While the horse can hold the lead from the outset over courses up to 2000m, the McFarlanes are hoping he will last the extra distance if selected for Warrnambool – a 2350m race.
“We are going to set him for the Cranbourne Cup on October 13 and want to see if he can run the 2400m,” Digger said.
“He excels when he goes over a bit of ground.
“He’s just got good stamina and he is a gutsy little bugger. He just won’t give up.”
Selection at Warrnambool will depend on his rating closer to the event. King’s a Star is now sitting at 81 but selectors won’t confirm the field until four days before the race.
King’s a Star has earned four wins, five seconds and six thirds from 45 starts, earning $113,500.
He led all the way at Stawell despite emerging from a wide barrier.
“At Stawell, there were a lot of horses in there that had won $200,000 to $300,000 in prizemoney,” Digger said.
“We were just ecstatic because nobody really gave us a chance. That win was huge because he did all the work early and still held on to win.”
King’s a Star rewarded faithful punters, returning $16.70 for every dollar placed.
The track was rated a dead five but still the horse posted a time just two seconds short of the track record.
King’s a Star sat fourth for most of the Traralgon Cup but hit the front before the home turn.
Trained by Mark Loft at Cranbourne, he is regularly ridden by Ruth Bradley wearing Loft’s racing colours: teal with pink stripe.
“She does all his slow work. He won’t let anyone else ride him. She just fell in love with him. He’s a nice quiet horse and easy to handle,” Digger said.
The horse’s success comes as a surprise, given his sire King of Roses and dam Search for a Star did not have outstanding racing records.
“We still think King’s a Star is not as good as he could be and believe he will be at his best when he’s six years old,” Digger said.
King’s a Star’s first win was in a 1600m race at Bairnsdale in April last year.
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