Clinton McDonald confident seven-length winner Star Patrol won’t be a one-hit wonder

Exciting sprinter Star Patrol broke to victory by seven lengths at Flemington last start and trainer Clinton McDonald wants to keep raising the bar.

Excitement machine Star Patrol has done nothing but impress trainer Clinton McDonald ahead of Saturday’s 1100m sprint at Flemington.

If anything, the three-year-old Starspangled banner gelding, who broke in by seven lengths last started down the famous straight, has improved.

“He keeps maturing mentally, working better, starting to round up beautifully, just in a really good spot,” enamored McDonald said.

“His work (Tuesday) was as good as a horse can work but well within himself, he came in hardly had a blow.

“We got to keep him exactly where he is, get him to the race day safe and sound, see what happens.”


Star Patrol is a $1.65 favorite to win a third-straight race since joining McDonald at Cranbourne following stints in Queensland and New South Wales.

“We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, we want to see it again,” McDonald said.

“I don’t want him to be a one-hit wonder… I don’t think he will be.

“I think he’s one out of the box, loves the straight clearly, you don’t see horses do what he did the other day… if he can turn up and be the same I think he’ll be awfully hard to beat.”

The explosive gelding stopped the clock at 1.08.84 last start at Flemington – 1.7 seconds outside the 1200m course record set by Iglesia in 2001.

“(Not comparing) we used to watch Weekend Hussler or Black Caviar work, they’d glide across the ground, didn’t look like they were running time, it was such a smooth action,” McDonald said.

“They were a bit like Carl Lewis, whereas this bloke is Michael Johnson.

“Sheer power and brute strength, his legs go 100 miles an hour and he’s fast, he looks like he’s fast.”

Star Patrol placed third hard held in a jumpout at Cranbourne last week behind Group 1 Goodwood contenders Extreme Warrior and Lombardo.

The main focus now is teaching Star Patrol to harness the speed, working through the grades before raising the bar in the spring and beyond.

“He’s still learning the horse, he was all over the place the other day at Flemington, in and out,” McDonald said.

“We’ll keep taking small steps and keep making him into a horse and hopefully one day we can talk about (big targets).”

Originally published as Clinton McDonald confident seven-length winner Star Patrol won’t be a one-hit wonder

Leave a Comment