Corstens forced into Plan B with Umgawa

Troy Corstens has long had Saturday’s Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday in mind for Umgawa, just not necessarily the race he will run in.

The three-year-old will be racing for the biggest payday of his career in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Mile, but Corstens was eyeing an even bigger prize.

The Flemington trainer had the son of Shamus Award entered for the $500,000 VOBIS Sires Guineas only to learn in the days leading up to acceptances that he was ineligible.

The Guineas is restricted to horses by stallions based in Victoria at the time of conception and the bad news for Corstens is Umgawa is the result of a union between Shamus Award and Express Central before the son of Snitzel took up residence at Rosemont Stud.

“Shamus Award now stands in Victoria but at the time his dam was covered he was still in New South Wales, so he’s not eligible,” Corstens said.

“The 2YO and the 3YO races, they’ve got be by Victorian stallions and Shamus Award is now a Victorian stallion but at the time he was still standing at Widden.”

Umgawa, who is also an acceptor at Flemington on Monday, would not be without his admirers in the Guineas off the back of his win in the $200,000 VOBIS Gold Reef at Flemington on March 19.

He will instead take on the older horses in the VOBIS Gold Mile, for which he is a $7 chance in TAB’s market, headed by Junipal at $4.

Although Umgawa is ineligible for the Guineas, Corstens and his co-trainer father Leon still have representation with Dayan Star to run.

The son of Zoustar has not started since finishing second at Moonee Valley over 1600m on February 18 and Corstens said it had been a long-term plan with the Bennett Racing-owned colt.

“Nathan (Bennett) really wanted to target this race, it’s come up quite suitable and he had a really good trial the other day, so we’re looking forward to see what he can do on Saturday,” Corstens said.

The Caulfield meeting has the potential to be a big day for the Corstens stable, which has the two favourites in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Sprint (1200m).

Newmarket Handicap runner-up The Astrologist goes in off a sixth placing in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes, but he has been usurped for favouritism by stablemate Swats That who has not started since finishing fifth in the Newmarket.

“She’s a mare we can back off with a little bit because she’s not hard to then wind up again and get her going,” Corstens said.

“It was always the plan to have a look at something like this and keep our options open.”

Swats That, who is also by Shamus Award, is using the VOBIS Gold Sprint as a possible stepping stone to the Group 1 Sangster Stakes at Morphettville on May 7.

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