AAP Horse Racing

Astoria to be aimed at winter carnival

By AAP Newswire

Beaudesert trainer Diane Murphy believes she will have plenty of options during the winter carnival with former Godolphin horse Astoria who will be spelled after he runs at Doomben.

Astoria is one of the best performed horses racing in Queensland having been Group One-placed in the 2017 Victoria Derby and also in the money in the Tulloch Stakes, Autumn Classic and Geelong Derby Trial as a three-year-old.

His best win was also at three when he won the 2017 Group Three Spring Stakes at Newcastle.

The now four-year-old will be having his third start for Murphy in Saturday's Open Handicap (1600m).

Murphy's client Jack Pakis bought Astoria from a Godolphin dispersal sale after he and Murphy has success with another former buy from Sheikh Mohammed's operation, Peacock.

"One thing you know when you get a horse from Godolphin they are sound and have been well looked after," Murphy said.

Astoria was beaten just under a length into fourth place in the Sunshine Coast Cup and was then about two lengths away when sixth at Eagle Farm in his two runs for Murphy.

"He didn't have much near the line first-up and then he was probably ridden too close at Eagle Farm," Murphy said.

"He looks suited on Saturday and he can then have a short break before the winter."

Murphy believes there are plenty of stakes races at 1600m and middle distances to suit Astoria in the winter.

"He is an ideal horse for those types of races and he is versatile," she said.

Murphy had a strong grounding before taking out a trainer's licence several years ago.

She worked with top trainers such as Roger James in New Zealand before stints on the Gold Coast with Kaye Tinsley, and also in Japan and Western Australia.

"We have a nice set-up at Beaudesert and hopefully horses such as Astoria and Peacock can really get me established," she said.