Saturday’s G3 McNeil S. is expected to be an important stepping stone for Lightsaber’s (Zoustar) ambitions to be a leading contender in the G1 Caulfield Guineas, with the Peter Moody-trained colt being campaigned towards the October feature.

The Zoustar colt, who is owned by a syndicate headed by Blueblood Thoroughbreds, made rapid progress through his first campaign earlier this year, bouncing off a maiden defeat at Geelong to put together a hat-trick of wins, which culminated in an all-the-way success in the G2 VRC Sires’ Produce S. at Flemington.

He pushed on to contest the G1 Inglis Sires’ in Sydney, but faded from off the pace, before being spelled. He then resumed in the G3 Vain S. at Caulfield two weeks ago, where trapped wide, he was unable to finish off, and was beaten 3.8l into sixth.

Bluebloods Thoroughbreds Racing Manager David Mourad rated that run just a pass mark but is expecting improvement up to the 1200 metres on Saturday, with a view to him getting into his winning distance range from that point.

“We should see him run well Saturday, but it is probably another stepping stone to getting him up to 1400 metres, which should be more suitable for him,” he told TDN AusNZ.

“The Caulfield Guineas is the main aim, so that’s where he is headed to. He’s in good order, with luck in running, he should run well enough. He might find a couple of his rivals a bit sharper than him.”

Among Lightsaber’s rivals on Saturday is G1 Blue Diamond S. winner Artorius (Flying Artie), who is resuming, and the ever-consistent General Beau (Brazen Beau), who was second in the Vain S. Another rival, Mr Mozart (NZ) (Snitzel), also beat Lightsaber home on that occasion, finishing fourth.

“He didn’t have the easiest run in transit. He was a bit out wide, but maybe first-up, they were a bit sharp for him. We want to see good improvement off of that,” Mourad said.

The key to Lightsaber last time was getting beyond 1200 metres, where he was able to either set the pace and sit outside of it, and Mourad believes that in that distance range, the colt should feel much better suited.

“If he can jump and get to the front, and be more in control of the race, that tempo seems to suit him and he seems to kick on. Over the shorter trips, he gets a bit run off his feet and it takes away from his finish. We’re still positive that once he gets to that range, we will see the best of him.”

Mourad said Lightsaber has physically developed in to his 3-year-old season, with a four-week spell in the paddock enough to freshen him up.

Bred by Emirates Park, he was a $100,000 buy from the JCS Thoroughbreds draft at the 2020 Inglis Ready2Race Sale. His dam, Dream Cirque (Dream Ahead {USA}), has an unraced 4-year-old mare named Swift Taylor (Al Maher) as well as a 2-year-old Pariah colt and a yearling colt by Capitalist. She visited Tassort last year.

The highlight of his pedigree page is the presence of Coolmore’s Champion Sire Fastnet Rock under the name of his fourth dam, Piccadilly Circus (Royal Academy {USA}), but there are several stakes-performed horses closer up in his page, including Dream Cirque’s half-brother Distant Rock (Medaglia D’Oro {USA}).


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