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Circle Of Power primed for Canterbury
Caryl Williamson
09:03 AEST Fri Dec 28 2012

The decision not to pursue a Villiers start with Circle Of Power could reap its rewards at Canterbury on Saturday.

A last-start winner at Warwick Farm on December 1, Circle of Power runs in the Benchmark 85 (1550m) on a rare Saturday meeting at Sydney's inner western track.

Trainer Rod Craig and the gelding's owners opted to concentrate on the Canterbury race rather than hope Circle Of Power got a start in the Group Two Villiers last Saturday week.

"He would have been first emergency and as it turned out he wouldn't have got a start," Craig said.

"I think the month between runs suits and he has gone well at Canterbury in the past."

Craig thought highly enough of Circle Of Power when he was a young horse to pit him against the best two-year-olds and while his career hasn't reached great heights, he has been a consistent earner with five wins and 12 placings from 40 starts.

"He's been a good horse and is a Saturday class horse who has earned more than $300,000," Craig said.

Circle of Power will be ridden by Kathy O'hara who steered him to his Warwick Farm win.

"Kathy suits him and he goes well for her," Craig said.

"He never pulled at all last time which was pleasing."

Circle Of Power is by Arena out of Quest For Success. Her trainer Craig has prepared all the mare's progeny for a syndicate which includes former TAB chairman Ross Cribb.

The mare's other three foals to race - Circle Of Fame, Velocity Gal and Raise The Level - have all been city winners and Craig is looking forward to her next offerings which include a recently delivered colt by Starspangledbanner.

A dual Group One winner in Australia and also in England, Starspangledbanner was withdrawn from stallion duties earlier this year due to fertility issues and put back into work by his owners Coolmore Stud.

He stood one season in Australia, and although Coolmore has not completely given up on him as a stallion, a return to stud duties is a way off.

"I've seen photos of the colt and he looks a really nice type," Craig said.

"The mare missed the first time she went to him and I recommended they try again and the second time she got in foal.

"Starspangledbanner was a great racehorse and at the time we didn't know there were any issues so this colt could be a rarity."