Star Witness Double at Canterbury
The two year-old colts and geldings maiden at Canterbury on Wednesday produced a deserved victory for Star Witness youngster Exceed the Stars, but there was a tale of woe from the second place-getter, the heavily backed favourite Mandela.
One of the best colts at the spring two year-old trials last year, the Mark Newnham trained Exceed the Stars opened his career with a sixth in the Group III ATC Breeders Plate in which he started favourite.
He did plenty wrong that day and in subsequent starts in good company found further ways to hamper his cause and was duly gelded before his current preparation.
Exceed the Stars returned at Canterbury two weeks ago and ran well to finish a good second and repeated the effort today, leading all the way for Blake Shinn before hanging on to win from the wayward Sebring colt Mandela, who seemed certain to win before veering off the track.
“He’s always had above average ability, but the difference is now he’s doing it all right,” Newnham said.
“What happened with Mandela, that used to be us!”
A $220,000 Magic Millions purchase from the Tyreel Stud draft for Darby Racing /De Burgh Equine, Exceed the Stars has won over $55,000 and now that he’s decided to be a racehorse can no doubt be winning more races.
Exceed the Stars is the second winner from Exceed and Excite, a half-sister by Exceed and Excel to Group I winner Choice Bro.
He is the 120th winner this season for Widden Stud’s Star Witness, who stands at the fee of $27,500 this spring.
Star Witness made it a winning double at Canterbury when his talented four year-old daughter Judge Judi resumed from a spell to win for the Kim Waugh stable. Judge Judi has the consistent record of four wins and six seconds from just 14 starts with prizemoney in excess of $110,000.