Written By Carl Di lorio for racing.com
Last year’s Australian Cup winner Fifty Stars is the first big name to join Tom Dabernig’s new Warrnambool-based stable.
Fifty Stars is one of eight horses from Dabernig’s former home at Lindsay Park to follow him, with owner Gerry Ryan also transferring juvenile filly Spinning, who has twice been placed at Caulfield, into his care.
Last-start unplaced G1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) runner Flying Mascot, multiple Stakes-placed four-year-old mare Bellx and Swettenham Stud-owned Energy Within are other notable raced horses to maintain their affiliation with Dabernig in the next phase of his career.
However, Dabernig’s acquisition of Fifty Stars from his former partnership under the Lindsay Park banner is significant as it will provide the respected trainer with the immediate chance of challenging for top honours during the upcoming Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Fifty Stars won six of nine starts for Darren Weir before joining David and Ben Hayes and Dabernig in February 2019.The Irish-bred entire was narrowly denied three-successive wins in the G2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington in February.
His most recent win came in the G1 Australian Cup (2000m) in March 2020 but the son of Sea The Stars was runner-up this season in the G1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) and went to the line untested as favourite in the latest running of the Australian Cup.
Fifty Stars was spelled after finishing second to Zaaki in the $500,000 G2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 8.
Dabernig commenced training operations from Warrnambool on Monday, starting with 11 boxes provided by Matthew and Ultra Williams.
The Warrnambool Racing Club is in the process of building a 48-box stabling complex on the racecourse for Dabernig to rent.
“To the owners who have contacted me and offered their backing, support and encouragement, I hope that being part of the Dabernig Racing team will be an enjoyable and rewarding experience,” Dabernig said in a statement issued last month.
“We will be doing our utmost to reward your faith and trust.”