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Talking up Starcraft; RACING: News and tomorrow's cards.

Byline: By Anita Chambers

STARCRAFT'S larger-than-life owner Paul Makin set tongues wagging in New York as he once again exuded confidence ahead of his horse's remarkable bid for the Breeders' Cup Classic on Saturday.

Makin has forked out a 800,000 supplementary fee to allow Starcraft to enter the biggest race of the year in the States.

And he admitted it had been the challenge of winning the race with a dirt debutant that attracted him to the Classic rather than the seemingly- easier option of tackling the Mile.

Despite the uncertainty of not knowing how Starcraft will handle the track at the weekend, Makin all but dismissed the horse's opponents in the race, saying he was "not afraid of any of them".

"They're nice horses but I don't think they're a 'Starcraft'," he said. "My guy has already achieved more than any of them have.

"Saint Liam is probably the one to beat but with horses like Borrego and Rock Hard Ten, if they are lining up with him on the turn then I don't think they can go past him.

"Why wouldn't I be confident? I've got a horse here!"

Makin, the managing partner in the Australian syndicate which owns last month's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner, said he wanted to "put the Antipodes on the map".

"I've bought my Australian flag with me and if I win they might just run down the home straight and do 'a Flo-Jo'," he continued.

"It was a lot of money to pay to run him but I am an old guy and this is not a dress rehearsal.

"He's won five Group Ones from seven furlongs to a mile and a half and he is a very versatile horse. I suppose I wanted to give him one last challenge."

CAPTION(S):

CUP HOPES... Owner Paul Makin has says that Starcraft isn't afraid of the opposition at Belmont
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 26, 2005
Words:317
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