It might be a hard act to follow but co trainer Grant Williams believes his gun mare Galaxy Star will be even better when she starts as the raging favourite in Saturday’s Group 3 Hyperion Stakes (1600m).
Williams’ confidence sends an ominous warning to his rival trainers with Galaxy Star already appearing to have the Hyperion Stakes at her mercy after a heart-stopping victory in the Group 3 Belmont Sprint (1400m).
Last year’s Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) hero looked beaten when she was second last at the 200m, but the daughter of Redoute’s Choice launched a withering finish to grab the leader Great Shot and win by a neck.
The six-year-old, who is closing in on $1.5 million in prize money, could arguably be unbeaten this preparation after producing a similar slashing run in the Group 3 Roma Cup (1200m) when a short-neck second to Vital Silver.
Williams is out to claim his second Hyperion Stakes success and the first with co-trainer and partner, Alana, after Elite Belle won in 2014.
Galaxy Star is the $1.26 favourite to make it back-to-back feature wins and her 13th from 18 career starts, firming from her opening price of $1.30.
Williams said it took Galaxy Star a few extra days to recover from her Belmont Sprint victory.
“I’m very happy with her this week,” Williams told Tabradio.
“She did take a couple of days to get over that last run.
“Her first two runs have obviously been quite taxing.
“But she looks a million dollars this morning (Friday) and this week we have been really happy with her.
“She had a nice piece of work yesterday (Thursday), so we are looking forward to the race.”
In a field of six starters, Galaxy Star has drawn barrier four. William Pike, who partnered Elite Belle in 2014, has the ride again.
Williams will also saddle Fairy Fast in race two, Play Hard in the fourth and Nikitas in the final event.
Nikitas has his first run for the stable after two impressive trials.
The Snitzel gelding flashed potential early in his career when he ran second to Capitalist in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) on the Gold Coast.
The now five-year-old also placed in two other stakes races, but has struggled since scoring his previous victory 15-months ago.
Williams believes Nikitas can have an impact first-up in the Free Entry To Belmont Park Handicap (1200m).
“He is a lovely horse,” Williams said.
“I keep waiting for something to pop up, because at the moment it seems too good to be true.
“His work has been very good and his trials have been good.
“He has been to a lot of trainers, but we can’t fault him at the moment.
“The claim will help him and the barrier draw.
“He will be up on speed somewhere and I’m really looking forward to him tomorrow.”
Nikita will jump from barrier two and carries 57kg for in-form apprentice, Jade McNaught.