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Star Turn to tick the final box by winning the Lightning Stakes

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Star Turn has everything needed to be regarded as a potential stallion except for one thing – a group 1 victory.

That may be achieved on Saturday in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes at Flemington.

Vinery Stud’s Peter Orton took the risk on him after the spring despite not having the final key factor of a group 1 win.

“We are probably lucky he didn’t win the Coolmore Stud Stakes in a way because if he did, it would have taken him out of our reach,” Orton said. “He would have been the complete package if he had won that race instead of finishing third [to Flying Artie].

“I still think his run was every bit as good as the winner because he did all the work up the straight and I’m sure the group 1 will come hopefully in the Lightning.

“In a great crop of three-year-old sprinters he was the one [stallion prospect] we earmarked as the one we wanted at our farm and we have been lucky enough to get a deal done.”

Original owner Alan Bell remains a 50 per cent shareholder in Star Turn, which has a group 2 decision over the older horses in the Schillaci Stakes, where he beat subsequent Darley Classic winner Malaguerra and Fell Swoop, before his group 1 placing.

“I think that was his peak run in the spring and showed what he was capable of,” Bell said. “We go into the Lightning first-up with a very good three-year-old, who John Hawkes tells me he has improved and strengthened up.

“But they have to because they meet those older sprinters 2-1/2 kilos worse off at this time of year compared to the spring.

“He has always been a powerful individual and John Hawkes has always felt the 1000m first-up would a good place to start.”

Although he has beaten the older horses, Star Turn’s record against Flying Artie is not as flattering, being beaten by his fellow three-year-old at each of their four meetings.

But he has nudged Flying Artie out of Lightning favouritism at $4.60, with the Mick Price-trained Coolmore winner at $4.80 and Darley Classic runner-up Speith at $5 at Ladbrokes.

The fact remains a three-year-old has not won the test of speed down the Flemington straight since 2005 when Fastnet Rock was successful.

Star Turn will don the Vinery colours for the first time in his career on Saturday but there are no plans for him to go to stud this season even if he wins at Flemington.

“It is very important to get that group 1 for him,” Orton said. “It would be the final piece of the puzzle and open so many options for him going forward, including overseas.

“We have More Than Ready, All Too Hard and Press Statement at the farm, so there is no need to rush Star Turn off to stud. We would like to race him on and there are plenty of sprinting options for him.”

Orton will also take a keen interest in the Talindert Stakes earlier in the day at Flemington, where All Too Hard has four representatives, including All Too Royal for Vinery. The freshman stallion is still looking for his first winner.

“I think it is five close seconds for him so far, so to get him off the mark in a black type race would be great,” Orton said.

“Our colt is like a lot of them, and All Too Hard himself, he is doing it on talent at the moment and is only going to get better with time but he is a chance on Saturday.”

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