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Astern heading for Coolmore Stud Stakes on Derby Day

Group One Golden Rose winner Astern will head to the Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington.

Godolphin Australia’s managing director, Henry Plumptre, said the Group One 1200m sprint for three-year-olds on October 31 had been pinpointed as the best option for the star colt in Melbourne this spring.

“We made the decision overnight that he would run in the Coolmore,” Plumptre said.

“We looked at the Manikato Stakes and the Darley Classic up the straight but decided in the end to stick to his own age.”

Plumptre said a major consideration was that Godolphin’s stable rider James McDonald could ride him at level weights in the Coolmore.

“James would not be able to ride him in the Manikato whereas he can stay on board in the Coolmore,” he said.

The Manikato is at weight-for-age and three-year-old Astern would carry a weight under McDonald’s range against the older horses.

The Coolmore looms as an exciting race, with the Mick Price-trained Extreme Choice among the other three-year-olds headed that way.

Extreme Choice was an impressive winner against older horses at weight-for-age in the Group One Moir Stakes last Friday night.

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