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Astern Third In Trial

Tuesday, 7th February 2017

Gr1 Golden Rose winner Astern (Medaglia d'Oro-Essaouira, by Exceed and Excel) has tuned up for his seasonal reappearance by finishing third in a barrier trial at Warwick Farm yesterday. Making his first public appearance since finishing runner-up to Flying Artie in the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington in the spring, Astern was given an easy time by jockey James Doyle finishing within a length of top sprinting mare English in an 811 metre heat in a time of 46.8 seconds. Director of Godolphin Australia, Henry Plumptre, said Astern was likely to have one more trial before opening his autumn campaign in the weight-for-age Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on 18 February. "He came into the stable pretty big this time even though he didn't have very long in the paddock. I think John's [trainer John O'Shea] plan is to give him a couple of trials to blow the cobwebs out," Plumptre told Melbourne's Radio Sport National yesterday. "I think John is favouring the Lightning. The difficulty is when you have a Group One horse like him none of the options are easy." Plumptre added: "We believe he is a top-class sprinter so he is likely to head to the Lightning first-up, then the Newmarket [Gr1], then the TJ Smith Stakes [Gr1]." Click here to watch Astern's trial.

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