Baertschiger may well have a new Star in the making

Star Of Jupiter (Vlad Duric) scoots clear for an easy debut win in Singapore.
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Via Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club

Two-time Australian winner Star Of Jupiter made a cracking start to his Singapore racing career with an excellent debut win on Sunday.

Known as Spin when prepared by trainers Peter & Paul Snowden in Sydney, the I Am Invincible four-year-old rocketed home from the rear to make the $70,000 Class 3 Division 1 race over 1000m his own.

Star Of Jupiter (Vlad Duric, $11) went on to score a soft win with 2 ½ lengths to spare from Man Of Mystery (Mohd Firdaus) with Nationality (Joseph Azzopardi) third another half-length away. The winning time was a slick 58.37 seconds for the 1000m on Polytrack.

In Australia, his two victories were recorded over 1200m, the first time at Kembla Grange and the second time at the last of his 15 outings, which came in decent Class 3 company at Eagle Farm in Brisbane on April 13.

But his best efforts under the Snowdens were arguably in defeat when fourth in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington in September, 2018 and a third place in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes at Randwick one month later.

Such a glowing resume does not necessarily translate to a winning formula in a different set-up, but the trackwork and barrier trial form had been promising.

One person who had been very upbeat about a bold showing first-up was the pilot, Vlad Duric.

The two-time Singapore champion jockey, who has formed a solid association with the Star Of Jupiter’s owners through his Group-winning deeds with their stable star Aramco, rode the newcomer at his two barrier trials, both times running third.

Duric said the only thing that dented his confidence was the inside draw (three).

“I was confident with the horse, but I was only worried about the fact he had drawn an inside barrier,” said the Australian ace.

“I watched his Australian races and just like Aramco, he’s a horse who likes to balance up and has a great turn of foot. I had to ride him like he can go further.

“That was a bit sticky, but I had so much horse coming to the corner. He was building up nicely underneath me.

“When I looked across, it was a soft win. Obviously he was underclass today, but it was still a nice win.

“As the races get harder, that’s when we’ll see if he gets better, but there is still a long way to go.”

Winning trainer Shane Baertschiger was at a training double after Always Innocent (John Powell) bolted up in the $30,000 Class 5 Division 2 race over 1000m four races earlier.

The Australian handler was not about to compare Star Of Jupiter with Aramco yet, but the fact he had pencilled in the Group 1 Lion City Cup (1200m), the race that his sprint star won this year, was a ringing endorsement of his potential.

“He was fit and had two nice trials. At the second one, he fly-jumped and he ran on super, Vlad jumped off and said he was very confident he would run well first-up,” said Baertschiger.

“He’s done everything right since he got here. We thought the 1000m would be too short, but he showed his class in the end.

“I will probably give him another run so he earns enough points to get into the EW Barker Trophy (1400m) in November.

“Long term, I’d be looking at the Lion City Cup next year in May.”

The Group 2 EW Barker Trophy (1400m) is due on November 8 while next year’s Lion City Cup will be run on Kranji Mile night on May 23