Inside Racing - December 4

YANGERY trainer Jarrod McLean will close down his oncourse stables at Warrnambool on January 31 to consolidate his training operation.

Apart from having the 10 boxes at the racecourse which are owned by private business operators, McLean has 25 stables at Yangery and another 10 near the Warrnambool trotting track.

The 31-year-old trainer said it was wise to have only two stables.

"I've given notice to the owners of the stables that I will end my lease on January 31," he said.

"It just made more sense that we run two stables instead of three.

"I'm sure the owners of the stables will lease them out quickly as they are an excellent facility. I just want to have around 30 horses in work, not 50."

Meanwhile, McLean said last week's Ballarat Cup winner King Diamond would now be set for the $150,000 listed Bagot Handicap (2800 metres) at Flemington on New Year's Day.

"I will run King Diamond in a $100,000 race over 2000 metres at Flemington on December 15 as a lead-in run for the Bagot," he said. "We had an option of sending King Diamond over to run in the Perth Cup on New Year's Day but we settled on running him in the Bagot Handicap.

"We'll also run Youbolt in a $100,000 race down the straight at Flemington on December 15 before running him in the $150,000 listed Standish Handicap (1200 metres) at Flemington on New Year's Day."

WARRNAMBOOL galloper King Cotton will have his front feet X-rayed following his poor run in an $80,000 race at Caulfield on Saturday.

King Cotton finished 11th in the 1100-metre race which left trainer Merv McKenzie asking questions about the six-year-old.

"He never pulled up well after the race," he said.

"He travelled good to the home turn but jockey Darren Gauci said he never let down in the home straight.

"Darren said he felt a bit scratchy in his action when he pulled up. I reckon we might find there might be something wrong with his front feet. We'll learn a bit more after having his feet X-rayed."

King Cotton has won seven of his 25 starts.

INJURY-prone galloper Starshot gave his rivals a galloping lesson when he won a $25,000 open handicap over 975 metres at Swan Hill on Sunday.

Starshot's trainer Peter Chow said a tendon injury to the near front leg meant the six-year-old was lightly raced.

"He's now won five of his 12 starts," the Warrnambool trainer said.

"He's a very serious racehorse but he's very frustrating to train because you know how good he is but his leg issues are always in the back of your mind.

"He does a lot of work out at Matthew Williams' place on the water walker and the treadmill. We're lucky to have such a great facility out at Matthew's place."

The hobby trainer said Starshot had trialled well at Terang last week in the lead-up to the Swan Hill race.

"He had been working well at home and on the track. I thought he was pretty forward to run a good race. I thought the 975 metres might be a fraction short but it all worked out well.

"We'll give him a light time now before getting him ready for a race at Moonee Valley later in the month."

Starshot has won nearly $80,000 in stakemoney for his connections.

DESPITE King Of The Cross winning a maiden flat race over 1860 metres at Avoca on Saturday, trainer Bill Wilde said the four-year-old was destined for a jumping career.

King Of The Cross won the $8000 maiden by three lengths but Wilde said the horse had good qualities for a jumper.

"He's a lovely big robust horse," Wilde said.

"He's a genuine staying type which I reckon will make a good jumper.

"Jumps jockey Shane Jackson works for us and he will start doing a bit of schooling on the horse in the near future."

Wilde was hoping his stable would have a winning double at Avoca but was left disappointed following God's On Track's third in a 1300-metre maiden.

"I thought it was only a matter of God's On Track running around in the maiden, especially after his second placing at Dunkeld, but the best he could do was to run third," Wilde said.

"He was probably a bit unlucky but we'll have to look around for another maiden for him."

FLASH Of Brilliance will target next year's $250,000 Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase over 5500 metres on May 2 following his win in a restricted flat race at Cranbourne on Saturday night. Trainer John Leek outlined the long-term plans for Flash Of Brilliance after the six-year-old won the $15,000 race.

"I brought him at a mixed thoroughbred sale in August," Leek said.

"He had only won one race from 26 starts when we got him. He's a tough stayer and it's that type of horse that you've got to have for races like the Grand Annual.

"We'll sit down and work out a program of races which will see him get to the Oakbank Easter Carnival and the Grand Annual," he said.

Leek is no stranger to the Warrnambool Grand Annual.

He won the feature jumping race in 1992 with Vinchiamo.

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