TOP Warrnambool trainer Tom Dabernig is looking for an improved showing from Fifty Stars in the $1 million group one Underwood Stakes at Sandown on Saturday.
Fifty Stars finished 12th in a 12 horse field at his last outing in the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington before his first-up placed run in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield.
"I can't deny the last run of Fifty Stars was disappointing but there's nothing physically wrong with him," Dabernig said. "The vets went over him after his Makybe Diva run and found nothing wrong. His bloods were spot on.
"I can't really put a finger on the reason why he went so poorly. It might have been he had a tough run. He was caught wide with no cover. It could be he's a seven-year-old stallion. There are some times you've got to forgive one bad run. We schooled him over a few jumps with Bailey Keast in the saddle last week and we'll do the same this Thursday - just to sharpen him up."
Dabernig confirmed top jockey John Allen would ride Fifty Stars in the Underwood Stakes.
"Johnny has decided to stick with us in the Underwood Stakes," he said.
"John has got a good understanding of the horse and he's hoping he'll improve at his third run in this preparation."
Meanwhile, the multiple group one winning trainer said last start Bendigo winner Flying Mascot will have her next run at Ballarat on October 10.
"Flying Mascot is a nice mare," he said.
"She's better when her runs are spaced, if she goes well next time at Ballarat we may look at a listed mares race over the Melbourne spring carnival for her next outing."
From her seven starts, Flying Mascot has won three races.
Maiden filly Morrissette takes her first steps for Warrnambool trainer Simon Ryan towards a start in the $1 million VRC Oaks at Flemington on November 4, when she lines up in the Oaks Trial over 1800 metres at Flemington on Wednesday.
"We've always had an opinion of Morrissette as an Oaks filly," Ryan said.
"We thought she would produce her best once she gets out in distance. I'm confident the 2500 metres of the Oaks will be right up her alley.
"Her three runs have been in unsuitable races over lesser ground but the 1800 metres of the Oaks Trial on Wednesday should give us a good indication of how well she's going. I'm expecting she'll run well with Teo Nugent in the saddle on Wednesday."
From her three starts, Morrissette has run fourth at Warrnambool and Geelong, plus the three-year-old has a third placing at Ballarat to her credit.
Bow Thruster, another maiden performer, trained by Ryan, could be a Jericho Cup contender later in the year after he ran second in a distance maiden at Bendigo last week.
"I thought his effort to run second at Bendigo was good," Ryan said. "He appeared to be held up for a vital stage in the race. We may take him to Geelong for his next start but there's a heat of the Jericho Cup at Warrnambool next month and that would suit. The Jericho Cup final is run over 4600 metres and that distance holds no worries for Bow Thruster. He just keeps on battling away in his races."
Bow Thruster has won more than $34,000 in stakemoney from his 12 starts for his connections.
The Cerchi name has been synonymous with the Coleraine Cup and this Friday, Bill Cerchi will try to add another one to the family history.
The late Jim Cerchi won the race seven times, while his son Bill has won the 1800 metre event twice.
"I'll be entering The Mitre for the cup," he said. "Old Jim trained at Coleraine for years and had great success in the race. While I was there, I won it a couple of times. The Mitre has won at Coleraine, which is a real advantage. I've got my fingers crossed we don't get too much rain this week. The Mitre goes better on top of the ground. His last run at Geelong was quite good. He pulled up with a bit of a virus after that run but he's in great shape if he gets a run in the cup on Friday."
Cerchi said he will also enter Pritchard in a restricted race at the meeting.
Group one Warrnambool winning trainer Daniel Bowman is undecided where he'll run Ocean Beyond next, after the four-year-old ran fourth in a $130,000 race at Caulfield on Saturday.
The stewards' report from the race backs up Bowman's thoughts that Ocean Beyond had no luck in the 1100 metre race.
It reads: Ocean Beyond was slow to begin. He was held up from the 400 metre mark before gaining clear running passing the 50 metre mark.
"Ocean Beyond just had no luck," Bowman said. "It was great to see him run so well on his return. He's more mature now but he's still learning about racing. With time, I believe he'll develop into a handy horse. I'm not sure where we'll go next with him. We'll just take him home and see how he pulls up before planning his next run."
From his five starts, Ocean Beyond has won two races, including the listed McKenzie Stakes at Moonee Valley in November last year.
Meanwhile, Bowman's group one winner Begood Toya Mother lines up in the $160,000 Testa Rossa Stakes at Sandown this Saturday.
Begood Toya Mother resumed with an unplaced run in the Bobbie Lewis Stakes at Flemington on September 11.
The seven-year-old has won eight races.
WHO TO FOLLOW
GYTRASH: top first-up effort to run third in The Shorts on Saturday. He looks set for a big preparation.
ELUSIVE EXPRESS: showed she's ready for a metropolitan victory with her third placing in a fillies race at Caulfield on Saturday. She should appreciate races over more ground in the future.
I'M THUNDERSTRUCK: huge run in the Clarke Stakes. He's a promising type who is ready to win a feature race.
SERENAUR: impressive maiden winner on Sunday after having no luck at his debut. He looks to have a good future.