Orient Star raised the bar at her previous win and trainer Pat Bermingham Jnr expects the mare to maintain that standard in the MM Electrical Handicap (1600m) at Kalgoorlie on Sunday.
Orient Star impressed when she charged home from fourth position and attacked the line well to score an effortless 1 ¼ length victory over My Best Buddy two weeks back.
It caught Bermingham a little off guard as he wasn’t expecting the seven-year-old to be fully wound up at just her second start this preparation.
“I was expecting her to improve as she went over more ground but she has returned in fantastic order,” Bermingham Jnr said.
“The most impressive aspect of the win was the way she attacked the line and she has certainly ticked all the right boxes since resuming this campaign.
“She was only about 80 per cent fit so there is plenty of upside to her.”
Orient Star will jump from barrier nine for apprentice rider Joseph Azzopardi and is one of two entrants for Bermingham.
Stable mate The Sleeping Giant has been placed twice from four starts but will need to lift on last week’s effort when fifth of seven behind Trentan Dior.
“She didn’t handle the seven day turnaround and I expect her to be the big improver,” Bermingham Jnr said.
“The step up to the mile will suit and look for her to bounce back.”
Bermingham Jnr rates Hussation and Black Tycoon as the hardest to beat.
King Caractacus led last week before fading over the final stages to be placed fifth and more than six lengths from Point Of Return.
Bermingham said the run was better than what it appeared and believes the removal of blinkers and an improved barrier draw could be the key required in the City Building Supplies Maiden (1300m).
“He got galloped on and that effectively put an end to his race,” Bermingham Jnr said.
“He returned with minor lacerations to both hind legs.
“He finally has drawn an alley and from two he can either lead without spending too many petrol tickets or take a position from behind.”
Stable mates Court Crusader and Aldidhavabrother are both struggling for form and appear to be outclassed in the Boart Longyear Handicap (1300m).
Court Crusader has finished no better than sixth in three runs this campaign and Aldidhavabrother has lost his past three outings by more than 30 lengths.
“Ability wise Court Crusader is the best horse in my stable but he can’t finish his races after being in handy positions,” Bermingham Jnr said.
“He is capable of improvement without it being a surprise.
“Aldidhavabrother will race forward and Russell Hanson is an important riding change.”