Startsmeup back this Saturday

Jul 14, 2011

By Glenn Davis

Spring is not yet in the air but for trainer Bruce Hill it can't come quickly enough.

Hill is excited about the spring prospects of talented three-year-old Startsmeup who launches his latest campaign in the Jim Beam Handicap (1110m) at Doomben on Saturday.

Hill trained in his own right in New Zealand and Melbourne before becoming trainer Gerald Ryan's Gold Coast stable foreman for many years.

He branched out on his own again four years ago when Ryan closed his Gold Coast operation to concentrate on his Rosehill stables in Sydney.

Startsmeup has been one of Hill's best sprinters to emerge since he resumed his training career and he is hopeful the son of Danzero can give him his first Group One winner in the spring.

Startsmeup has not raced since Hill sent him to Melbourne in the autumn for the Group One Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington in March.

Hill's Group One dream failed to eventuate when Startsmeup, ridden by his son-in-law Paul Hammersley, could manage only 10th to Shamrocker.

Startsmeup proved he was capable of winning a major race when he was narrowly beaten by Bullbars at his previous start in the Group Three CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.

"His run in the Hayes Stakes never surprised me," Hill said.

"He was going really good at the time after I took him to Sydney first to break up the long trip from the Gold Coast.

"He had a run at Rosehill and ran third but it was very hot at the time with the temperatures over 40 degrees every day leading up to the Rosehill race and when he got to Melbourne it was a lot cooler.

"Unfortunately, a wide alley killed his chances in the Australian Guineas and he was caught wide all the way."

Hill has given Startsmeup two barrier trials to prepare for his first-up assignment but is not getting too carried away with his chances.

"He's never won first-up and this is only 1110 metres so he might find it a bit short," Hill said.

"He won his first trial narrowly at the Gold Coast and he easily won another trial at Deagon on Tuesday.

"He's been in work a fair while and I'll probably give him another run after this before taking him back to Sydney.

"I haven't had a good look at the program for him yet but I want to break up the trip to Melbourne again and will give him a run or two in Sydney along the way."

Hill believes Startsmeup is capable of winning at the highest level and may target the Group One Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield in October.