Stars Of Carrum returns for Mornington Cup

Craig Brennan
Trainer Pat Carey has Mornington Cup hopes for stable newcomer Stars Of Carrum

Pat Carey would like nothing more than to see stable newcomer Stars Of Carrum add another Mornington Cup to his trophy cabinet.

Carey won his hometown Cup in 2008 with Attrition, a race he said had two reasons for sticking in his mind.

That year's Cup was the last time the race was run over 2000m before rising to its current distance of 2400m while prize money also took a leap.

"It led to a number of country cups getting a lift in prize money which was a great boost for country racing overall," Carey said.

Run by the Melbourne Racing Club, the Mornington Cup now carries $350,000 in prize money along with the added attraction of the giving the winner a ballot-free exemption into October's Caulfield Cup.

Stars Of Carrum has been in Carey's stable for three weeks and the trainer said he was still learning about the stayer.

Carey said it was not ideal to be running third-up in Saturday's race, especially on the quick back-up after Stars Of Carrum ran a closing fourth in the Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m) at Caulfield last Saturday.

"We're happy with the horse and he came through his run well the other day," Carey said.

"It's probably not the most ideal scenario backing-up and being third-up after having such a long break.

"But he gives the impression he's a clean-winded horse."

Stars Of Carrum, runner-up to Extra Brut in the 2018 Victoria Derby at Flemington, ran fourth in last year's Mornington Cup behind Self Sense as part of his preparation for the ATC Australian Derby at Randwick.

Carey said he had spoken to the gelding's previous trainers Robbie Laing and Mick Kent to get a handle on the four-year-old who missed the spring with an injury.

"I trust their judgment and hopefully we can keep moving forward on an upward spiral," Carey said.

"He had a good break after an injury concern following a Queensland campaign last year and he's had time to mature and furnish out.

"Like a lot of the Fiorente stock, he is a nice horse."

Carey said the Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick next month or The Andrew Ramsden (2800m) at Flemington in May were options for Stars Of Carrum.