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Grunt to resume for new owners

All-Star Mile contender Grunt will have his first run for new managing owners in Saturday’s Gr.3 Shaftesbury Avenue Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.

Expanding racing and breeding operation Yulong Investments has bought 51 percent of Grunt from an ownership group that includes Chautauqua’s owner Rupert Legh.

Yulong Racing’s Australian chief operating officer Sam Fairgray said Grunt would carry the operation’s green and white silks for the first time on Saturday before the four-year-old’s plans are decided after the All-Star Mile.

“It’s undecided whether he will go to stud or race on (as a five-year-old),” Fairgray said.

“We’ll just see how he goes in the autumn but ultimately, we hope he will stand at Yulong.”

Fairgray said Yulong was building an area at their Nagambie base in Victoria for stallions to serve mares in the coming seasons. Grunt is set to be the first stallion to stand for the Yulong team.

A two-time Group One winner over the Flemington 1600m course, Grunt will carry 61.5kg in the Shaftesbury Avenue.

Price said a dislike for Caulfield was the sole reason Grunt did not have an All-Star Mile lead-up run in either the Futurity of CF Orr Stakes. Grunt was unplaced at all three runs on his home track in the spring.

However, the trainer said Grunt has spelled well since struggling behind Winx in the Gr.1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) last October.

“He’ll be straight into the mile race and I’m really happy with him,” Price said.

“He’s thrived in his break and he’ll run well.”

Damien Oliver will stick with Grunt in both the Shaftesbury Avenue and the All-Star Mile.

Price said Grunt could tackle the Doncaster Mile and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in Sydney after the A$5 million All-Star Mile. -Racenet.com.au