Lankan Star set for first Sydney test

Friday 15 March, 2019
Mathew Toogood
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Blue Diamond runner-up Lankan Star (c) runs in the Magic Night ahead of a possible Slipper start.

A path taken with Tulip a couple of years ago is the one Lindsay Park is following with Blue Diamond Stakes runner-up Lankan Star who makes her Sydney debut in the Magic Night Stakes.

Lankan Star beat all bar Lyre in the $1.5 million Group One Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield on February 23 and a decision on whether she runs on a seven-day back-up in Saturday week's $3.5 million Golden Slipper will rest with her performance in the Group Three Magic Night (1200m) at Rosehill.

"The Slipper is an option we're keeping open," co-trainer Tom Dabernig said.

Dabernig said Lankan Star had been in Sydney for about 10 days and had worked well leading into Saturday's Magic Night for two-year-old fillies, run over the Golden Slipper course.

Two years ago the stable won the Magic Night with Tulip who was coming off a fourth placing in the Blue Diamond and she then backed up to perform admirably in the Golden Slipper.

"She has drawn a wide gate but the forecast is for a fair bit of rain so I'm not sure how the track is going to be," Dabernig said.

"This gives her a chance to run at Rosehill.

"We've got to obviously decide whether we go to the Slipper, but we did it with Tulip.

"She won the Magic Night and then we ran her in the Slipper and she ran third on a very heavy track that day.

"Lankan Star ran second down the straight at Flemington over Cup week last spring in pouring rain. The track was rated soft and she seemed to handle those conditions.

"This might be different again, but she seems pretty versatile and she has never put in a poor performance.

"We'll see how she measures up.

"She seems great and she's probably a little bit under-rated I think."

The James Cummings-trained Athiri, fourth in the Blue Diamond last start, is the $3.90 favourite for the Magic Night with Lankan Star an $11 chance.

Should Lankan Star not press on to the Golden Slipper, next month's $1 million Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) for two-year-old fillies at Randwick is another option.