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Last chance for Jewels hopeful Star Galleria

By Duane Ranger

Steven Reid knows he’s taking a gamble but an impressive workout at Pukekohe last Saturday has convinced the Franklin conditioner to take Star Galleria south and try and qualify him for the Harness Jewels Final.

Star Galleria and Tony Herlihy (MNZM) will start from gate four in tonight's Garrards New Zealand Sires Stakes Sophomore Classic for the 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

The Listed 1950m mobile is worth $40,000 and Reid knows he is going to have to finish in the first two to qualify for the Group One $150,000 3yo Emerald at Ashburton Raceway on June 3.

Star Galleria is currently ranked 21 and has earned $23,675 this season. He needs another $8,711 to make the 12-strong final.

“It’s a bit of a punt. He went so well at the workouts on Saturday I just had to give him his chance to line up against the best. I honestly think he’s a very good 3-year-old and at his best would hold his own against the guns,” Reid said.

Six months ago Reid would have given him little chance of heading south. The Art Major gelding kicked out at a gate and suffered serious leg injuries.

“He suffered a massive hole in his leg and I actually thought that might be his career all over before it hardly started. The vet told me if the hole had been three or four inches lower on the hock that would have been the end of him ever racing again.

“He left last night (Monday) and I’ll go down later in the week. Simon (McMullan) is looking after him,” Reid said.

Star Galleria and Reid trailed Alta Intrigue for most of Saturday's left handed R64 to R77 Workout. In the lane they strolled passed the pace-maker to win by half a length under a huge hold.

The gifted bay paced the 2500m mobile in 3:12.9 (mile rate 2:04 even) and home in 57.7 and 27.1.

“I actually time him to go 26.8. I never let him go. That was a pretty nice win and showed me that he’s back. He was once exceptional in work but it’s taken him a long time after his injury to get back to where he should be.

“He’s starting to show signs of his old self and if he keeps improving like I think he can win on Friday. It won’t be easier but he is one of the better 3-year-olds I have ever put a bridle on and he feels like the old Star Galleria again,” Reid said.

Reid said he regretted throwing Star Galleria into the deep end and then backed him up when he resumed from his spell at Alexandra Park on April 21 and 28.

“They went 2:39 in his first run back for almost five months and then the following week they went 2:36.9. That’s a hell of a big ask after what he went through. You can’t change history but looking back now I shouldn’t have backed him up,” said Reid.

Star Galleria was fifth in both of those races finishing two-and-a-half lengths and six lengths from the winners respectively.

If he doesn’t finish in the first two on Friday Reid said he would bring the gelding home and then possibly look at the Queensland Derby in Brisbane in July. He is not paid up for the Breeders’ Crown.

Star Galleria has raced six times this season for two wins. All-up his career record stands at seven starts, three wins, no placings and $34,44 in stakes.

Reid owns him with his breeder Reg Caldow and John Screen and Terese Screen.