Jockey Steven King has given Mornington train Shane Nichols nothing but confidence that his Quezette Stakes winning filly I Am A Star will see out the mile of the Thousand Guineas 2016 this spring.
Over the weekend King made it three-from-three aboard the daughter of I Am Invincible, guiding I Am A Star to a narrow long-neck victory over Leotie and Athena Lass in Caulfield’s Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m).
It was the filly’s first-up win since taking out the Group 3 National Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide back in May and showed she had come through her winter spell well.
Nichols has the long-term Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival goal of the $500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield Racecourse on October 8 pencilled in for I Am A Star.
A winner of three of her four career starters, the three-year-old is yet to race over further than 1200m but Nichols has gain confidence from King’s reports that the filly will see out a strong mile.
“[King’s] adamant she’ll run a mile,” Nichols told Correct Weight on RSN on Sunday.
“If she’s drawn a gate, she’ll be able to possie up pretty close to the speed and quicken off the mark.
“He’s always been a big advocate for her in how she runs her races, she doesn’t get pulling, she doesn’t hesitate whether it’s in between runners, or outside runners.
“She leaves the gates clean – she’s a very compliant racehorse.”
Next-up Nichols is looking at a run at Moonee Valley on September 3 in the $120,000 Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m).
He could still bypass the race however depending on the penalty weight I Am The Star receives from the handicapper for the set weights plus penalties sprint.
“Probably the Atlantic Jewel, but we’ve got to have a look and see how the penalties treat us,” he said.
“We copped 1.5kg above some of those fillies yesterday, and we’ll go to 2.5kg above them for a Listed race like the Atlantic Jewel.
“That was the initial thought, but I’ll refine that over the next couple of days.”
The other confirmed run for I Am A Star leading up to the Group 1 on Caulfield Guineas Day is the $200,000 Group 2 Schweppes Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) on September 24.
“We’ll go to the 1400m lead-up to the Thousand Guineas, and assess her from there,” Nichols said.
“I would imagine the way she’s been racing, and how she’s worked, I think she probably will run a mile.”
Current Thousand Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by the David Vandyke-trained Yankee Rose ($6), runner-up in the Golden Slipper and winner of Randwick’s Group 1 Inglis Sires’ (1400m) from April, while I Am A Star is at a quote of $17.
Yankee Rose is down to return first-up on September 10 at Rosehill Gardens in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) and is equal $7 favourite for the three-year-olds’ classic with the John O’Shea-trained Lonhro colt Impending ($7).
Former Golden Rose Stakes favourite Capitalist, winner of last season’s Golden Slipper, has eased out to $8 in pre-field betting after his shock fourth as the beaten favourite in Saturday’s Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m).
Check out all the early Group 1 racing markets for the upcoming three-years-old classics online now at Ladbrokes.com.au!