Max on Fire for Morphettville Guineas

Star Turn’s Adelaide-based 3yo Max Fire has earned a black-type assignment on his merits for the Morphettville Guineas (LR, 1600m) on Monday, March 14.

Max Fire was a front-running winner at Oakbank and Morphettville during an initial spring campaign and he added another when racing second-up in the Coopers Brewery Hcp (1400m) at Balaklava on Wednesday.

“He’s a fantastic horse and has grown another leg this prep,” trainer Travis Doudle said.  “He was a brave third first-up at Morphettville and today was the perfect clean-out before the Guineas.  The step up to 1600m is also a bonus.”

Max Fire (3g Star Turn – Witwatersrand by Unfuwain) defied an alarming drift in betting to get the better of Jacks On Ice (Valentia) after they cleared out to fight out the finish.  “I couldn’t believe the price ($8) but I’m not complaining,” Doudle admitted.  “Neither are the boys in On Fire Racing who own him.

“He was originally going to Darwin but we knew he was a nice horse in the making when he kept rolling to win his maiden at Oakbank.”

Randwick Bloodstock’s Brett Howard bred Max Fire by using Vinery sire Star Turn over Irish-bred mare Witwatersrand (Unfuwain).  Second dam Valley Of Gold (Shirley Heights) won an Italian Oaks Gr.1 and Prix Cléopâtre Gr.3 at Saint-Cloud.

Meanwhile, Star Turn’s 3yo filly Startantes will go for a spell following her second Group 1 placing at Randwick in the Surround Stakes (1400m) last Saturday.  She was third in the Flight Stakes (1600m) during a spring campaign in Sydney.

“I cancelled my flight after a few people told me Randwick would be rained off,” Brisbane trainer Rob Heathcote revealed.  “But they went ahead and I watched it on TV.  As they crossed the line, I knew I got beat.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry but I’m just so very proud of Startantes.

“She will come back and stay here at Eagle Farm until the rain stops and the roads are opened to Washpool Lodge.  She will be extremely competitive at the winter carnival in the 3yo events at set-weights and there’s always the option of another Group 1 in the Stradbroke.”

Me Me Lagarde is the other Star Turn 3yo filly with designs on the Stradbroke after a hit-and-run trip to Sydney for the $1million Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (Gr.2, 1200m) at Randwick on April 9.

She is a homebred for Gerry Harvey and the Baramul Stud owner has five Star Turn yearlings catalogued for the Adelaide Magic Millions Sale a day after the Morphettville Guineas on March 15.

The chestnut filly from Danehill mare Double Strength (Lot 100) is from the immediate family of Sneaky Shark who won first-up in Australia for trainer John O’Shea at Canterbury in January.  He had been sidelined for twelve months following a remarkable second in the 2021 Karaka 2YO Millions (RL, 1200m).  He pulled up lame after standing on the toe clip of a displaced front plate at Ellerslie.

Star Turn’s link with New Zealand trainer Stephen Marsh is due for another update with 2yo filly Academy Award who looked a readymade juvenile winning an Avondale trial on Tuesday.  He also prepares Star Turn’s 3yo Group performer La Bella Beals.

Academy Award was also bred by Gerry Harvey and was knocked down for $180,000 at the 2021 NZB Karaka Yearling Series.  Her dam Dubleanny (Dubleo) won Listed races at Flemington (2) and Morphettville for Vinery.

MAX FIRE