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Astern trials well as Autumn plans take shape

Mike Hedge

A conservative but powerful trial by Godolphin’s star Australian colt Astern on Monday has left jockey James Doyle eagerly anticipating his first race ride on the three-year-old.

Astern looked strong and eager in the 1000m barrier trial at Warwick Farm, settling comfortably behind the leaders and cruising to the finish under a tight hold.

“I was very pleased with him, he relaxed beautifully and travelled through the trial quite well.

“He quickened nicely toward the end and hit the line quite well, moving great, so we’re really happy with him.”

“He’s a colt with a lot of strength and class, it’s easy to understand why the stable has such an opinion of him,” Doyle said.

Astern is due to make his return to racing in the G1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington next month.

The son of Medaglia d’Oro was joined in Monday’s trial by stablemates Magic Hurricane, Ambience and Impending. Of the three, it was the veteran Magic Hurricane who showed the most dash, steaming home to finish fifth under Tim Clark.

Assistant trainer Darren Beadman who supervised the morning’s activity said the team had all performed up to expectations.

“Astern was very comfortable and came back in great order, he’ll trial again in a week-or-so and then go to Melbourne,” Beadman said.

“There were some nice runs by a few of the older horses and the two-year-olds all showed us what we’d hoped for.”

Among the better-performed members of the large contingent sent to the trials by trainer John O’Shea was Bezel, a colt who was one of the most progressive in the stable last Spring.

Bezel was given a quiet ride into midfield in a trial dominated by older horses, Doyle reporting that the colt had given him a good feel.

“He was slightly on the toppy side, so he’ll improve massively for this morning’s trial,” he said.

Among the O’Shea-trained two-year-olds to catch the eye was the unraced Lonhro filly Aisance who did everything right and wasn’t asked for an effort before finishing third in her 800m trial, Astoria, Coruscate and Veranillo.