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Astern Vulnerable First-Up

Wednesday, 29th March 2017

Godolphin Australia boss Henry Plumptre says Astern’s lack of match practice makes him vulnerable when he makes his return to racing in Saturday’s $2.5 million Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick, reports racing.com. A winner of the Gr1 Golden Rose (1400m) in the spring, Astern hasn’t raced since finishing runner-up to Flying Artie in the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on 29 October. “You would have to be cautious about Saturday. It is a good TJ, it is a signature race and it attracts a good field and it is public knowledge that we've had complications with him this preparation, like we did last preparation," he said. "He has been prone to little viral issues, which have not been enough to stop him but just things you have to tinker with and he has to be treated for.” Plumptre added: "Obviously we would prefer to be going in to the TJ with a run under our belt, it is not ideal but he needs to run somewhere if he is going to be competitive in the All Aged in two weeks' time.”

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Astern (image: Steve Hart)
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