Star Turn has lived up to his name to win the San Domenico Stakes, while Golden Slipper winner Capitalist’s fourth has mystified his trainer and jockey.
Early in the week, Capitalist was at $1.60 to win the first start of his three-year-old season, but by race time on Saturday he had drifted to $2.50 for the Group Three 1100m sprint.
With Tango Rain ($4.40) going to the lead in the six-horse field, Star Turn ($3.20) took up a position to his outside and travelled comfortably for Tommy Berry.
Capitalist looked set to launch an attack on the lead in the straight but Star Turn kicked past Tango Rain, with Kentucky Miss ($18) holding third.
Senior trainer Peter Snowden said although Capitalist had been anchored by 60kg, 4kg more than the winner, he thought he would handle it.
Star Turn’s co-trainer, Michael Hawkes, had been equally confident about the progress the colt had made since his sixth in the Golden Slipper.
“He has made the mental progress he needed to,” Hawkes said.
“He’s always had the ability and been physically strong, but the big difference is his attitude.”
Hawkes said he was unsure where Star Turn would go next, with the Group Two Run To The Rose (1200m) the logical step.
“Today was all about seeing where we are at,” he said.
It was also about seeing where Capitalist was at and as far as Snowden is concerned, he is fine.
“It’s a mystery. He had to give weight to the others and maybe he was anchored by that but I thought he was good enough to do it,” Hawkes said.
“He will have to carry a big weight again in the Run To The Rose under the penalty conditions so that’s a concern.
“I’m disappointed he got beaten, but I’m happy with the horse.”
His jockey, Blake Shinn, said the big weight was a concern but he was confident the colt would bounce back.
“Throughout the race I was supremely confident,” Shinn said.
“He travelled beautifully. Everything set up nicely for him to win.
“He ranged up at the 350 (metres), but to be honest I just felt that the 60 kilos was just too big an ask for him today.
“I wouldn’t write him off.”
Berry said his experience with Slipper winner Vancouver, which was beaten in the same race a year ago, had given him confidence on Star Turn.
“I knew my bloke had a lot of improvement but Capitalist probably still does,” he said.
“It’s going to be a good fight over the next couple of months.”
“He was exciting.”