STAR Of Octagonal has been issued with a weight carrying challenge as he aims to continue his return to form and add another feature race to his resume in the Listed $180,000 Emirates Park Scone Cup (1600m).
The Cessnock trained five year old, which is almost a local, has been handicapped on 57.5kgs,a weight he has not carried since he won his maiden at Gosford in February 2010.
He has gone up 2.5kgs for narrowly beating Western Symbol in the Rowley Mile at Hawkesbury two weeks ago and trainer, Todd Howlett, is worried.
“It looks like we could be in a bit of trouble but we can’t do anything about it,” Howlett said. “That’s the weight he has been given and that’s the weight he has to carry.
“It’s the benchmark system and there is nothing we can do about it. If he wins the cup we will consider the Stradbroke for him but he is well down in the weights and we will need a win like this to hopefully lift him up the order.”
Howlett gave Star Of Octagonal his final cup hit out at Cessnock on Tuesday morning with race jockey, Robert Thompson, in the saddle.
“It was an easy gallop but Robert was happy and that’s the main thing,” Howlett said. “Usually I space his runs more than two weeks apart and because of that we have just kept him ticking over for the cup.”
Star Of Octagonal, bought for just $22,000 at the 2008 Scone yearling sale because of a dream, looked like a star in the making when, as a three year old, he won the 2010 Group Three South Pacific Classic at Randwick before storming away to win the inaugural Inglis Guineas on Scone cup day 27 days later.
However injury problems and wet tracks plagued the horse and it was not until February this year he was able to break back into the winners circle again when he scored at Rosehill.
He has returned to his best this preparation and apart from the Rosehill win he has won the Rowley Mile, finished second in the Group Two Ajax Stakes and third in the Listed Carrington Stakes and Group Three Newcastle Newmarket.
Owners Phil and Leanne Moore bought Star Of Octagonal because Leanne dreamed, on the eve of the
Scone sale, she had bought a yearling by Octagonal and given it that name.
“See, dreams do come true,” she said after Star Of Octagonal won the Guineas.
However the dream became a nightmare for Howlett as he battled to get the horse back to his old form and it is a credit to his horsemanship that he has pulled it off.