I Am A Star has produced a perfectly-timed sprint to take out the Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) from a fast-finishing Leotie at Caulfield Racecourse this afternoon.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Steven King elected to take a position off the pace of early leaders Athena Lass, Modern Wonder and She’s Positive, who all flew the gates and set a reasonable pace from the outset.
Rounding onto the final straight wide and with plenty to do, the I Am Invincible filly mustered a huge turn of foot with 200m to run; pulling alongside the race leaders and clear before hitting the line a head in the green of Leotie; Athena Lass boxing on for third.
King delivered a smart ride on I Am A Star in the Quezette Stakes and believes the filly is a serious three-year-old contender for major targets this spring.
“She’s a really nice filly this,” King said.
“Even as a two-year-old she was very sensible and she’s come back in really good.
“It was a really good win today because I was probably three or four lengths further back than where I wanted to be but she’s got a great will to win and is really mature in her head.
“We came into this race today and drew and awkward barrier, and I really think that was the only question mark.
“We didn’t do a lot with her in the trials so we knew there was a lot of upside with her.
“We got back, gave her a chance and she hit the line strong.
“When you get fillies like this, that take you a long way.”
Trainer Shane Nichols was thrilled with I Am A Star’s performance for success in the Quezette Stakes and revealed she will progress to the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m) in three weeks before a likely run in the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m).
“She’s certainly a winner,” Nichols said after the race.
“I thought halfway down the straight she was going to run a nice race, but gee she found the line.
“I said to Steve that if he could balance up and hit the line, some of these might be a little soft late.
“If I’d have drawn 5 I probably would have been toey and nervous and thinking about what could possibly be. When we drew 16 it took all the pressure off – I thought we can ride her conservatively.
“I’ve always said we’ll get to the 1400m lead-up to the Thousand Guineas and we’ll take it from there.
“Steve is fairly adamant she’ll run a mile, but let’s not get ahead of herselves. She’s going well, so who knows, we might get to loftier ambitions.”
Punters who backed I Am A Star to win the 2016 Quezette Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au have been paid out on $7 odds!
2016 Quezette Stakes Results
|1||4||I AM A STAR (NZ)||Shane Nichols||Steven King||–||13||56.5kg||$6.50|
|2||15||LEOTIE||Henry Dwyer||Chris Parnham||0.2L||11||55kg||$11|
|3||14||ATHENA LASS||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Cory Parish||0.3L||2||55kg||$10|
|4||9||NAJMAAT||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Mark Zahra||1.55L||7||55kg||$20|
|5||2||SWORD OF LIGHT||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||2.05L||1||57.5kg||$8|
|6||6||SELENIA||Robbie Griffiths||Jye McNeil (a)||2.15L||8||56.5kg||$17|
|7||3||SHE’S POSITIVE||Tony Noonan||Steven Arnold||2.65L||6||56.5kg||$51|
|8||11||MERRIEST||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||3.05L||10||55kg||$12|
|9||5||HOT DIPPED||Brendan Mcshane||Dwayne Dunn||4.3L||9||56.5kg||$11|
|10||13||CONSCIOUS||Leon & Troy Corstens||Stephen Baster||5.3L||5||55kg||$8.50|
|11||16||MISS SALINGER||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Ms Linda Meech||6.05L||3||55kg||$31|
|12||1||CONCEALER||Tony McEvoy||Craig Williams||6.8L||12||57.5kg||$9.50|
|13||7||MODERN WONDER||Leon & Troy Corstens||Daniel Moor||11.05L||4||56.5kg||$5.50F|