Hunter syndicators Australian Bloodstock are eyeing a potential farewell Brisbane campaign and longer targets for Newcastle sprinter Graff after buying the four-year-old in partnership with Aquis.
The deal to purchase the Kris Lees-trained stud prospect from sole owner Alan Bell was announced on Wednesday.
Australian Bloodstock director Luke Murrell said Graff, the winner of $1.1 million in stakes and fifth in the 2018 Everest (1200m), would retire and stand at Aquis after this season.
The Star Witness entire has won three times in 13 starts and his most recent victory was in the group 3 San Domenico in August 2018, although he has since consistently run top four in elite company.
Graff's past two campaigns have been built around trying to secure an Everest slot but Murrell said a group 1 win before he became a sire was now the focus.
"I've got my own ideas on what sort of distance ranges it should run in, but it's really good we've got Aquis involved because it means he's already got a home at stud later on," Murrell said.
"The plan is to kick him off first-up in The Galaxy [1100m on March 21] and if he won, he'd go to the TJ Smith [1200m].
"If not, we'd go to Brisbane and have a real crack at the winter, then he can go to stud."
He believed the Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) and Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) in Brisbane could be suitable group 1 targets.
"I've always thought he could get a strong 1200-1400 metres," he said.
"He's been up and going in 1000 metres races obviously trying to get to an Everest, but I think if he was set for a 1200 second-up group 1, he'd do something good.
"If the horse is not pressured to win at a 1000 first-up, I think he can build into a preparation better."
Graff last raced when 12th in the inaugural $1 million The Hunter (1300m) at Newcastle Racecourse on November 16 as the $4.80 second favourite. A lung wash found he had an exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.
Murrell, though, said Graff was a sound horse in inspections and Lees was pleased with how he had returned.
Lees and Australian Bloodstock were a close second with Hallelujah Boy on Wednesday in the Bowness Stud Mile at Warwick Farm.
Trainer James Cummings said winner Gaulois would head to the group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m) on March 6, and Murrell said Hallelujah Boy would likely follow the same path.
"I think he would be some hope in that," Murrell said.
"Given he didn't have a long prep last time, it's good to see him come back and he'll probably have more improvement than the winner."
Of the Lees-trained runners at Randwick this Saturday, Special Reward drew gate five for the group 3 Southern Cross Stakes, Regimental Band gained 10 for the group 2 Light Fingers Stakes, while Fall On A Star and Snitzari secured eight and nine respectively for the listed Lonhro Plate.