I Am A Star Wins Stocks Stakes on Way to Myer Classic 2017

September 30, 2017

I Am A Star Wins Stocks Stakes on Way to Myer Classic 2017

Shane Nichols’ smart mare I Am A Star returned to winning form at Moonee Valley on Friday night taking out the 2017 Stocks Stakes for the punters on way to likely Myer Classic title defence in November.

I Am A Star

I Am A Star returned to winning form in the 2017 Stocks Stakes at Moonee Valley on Moir Stakes Night. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

The bookies were taking no chances on the four-year-old daughter of I Am Invincible under the lights on Moir Stakes Night as I Am A Star jumped top fancy in the Group 2 $200,000 Zoustar Stocks Stakes (1600m).

She was scratched from Saturday’s Group 1 $1 million Epsom Handicap (1600m) field at Randwick in Sydney in favour of the Melbourne Group 2 and it proved a winning move by connections as she enjoyed her seventh career win at start number 19.

Her favouritism was despite the fact that I Am A Star hadn’t won a race since victory at the track in the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) back in March, and that her two latest runs produced seventh place efforts including behind Sword Of Light at Flemington in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m).

Back up to a mile though I Am A Star ($3.50) bounced back to her best and enjoyed a quarter-length victory over Flying Jess ($18), while the in-form Lindsay Park-trained Hell Or Highwater ($4.20) rounded out the Stocks Stakes trifecta in a close third under a length off the winner.

“She had been going OK and things were in order and her work had been very good, but you’ve just got to strike a blow,” Mornington-based Nichols told the media post-win.

“To come and win today is just terrific.”

The Stocks Stakes results took I Am A Star up to two wins and a third from three runs over the Moonee Valley mile and boosted the mare’s prize money up to over $1.18 million.

Her main Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival aim is a return to Flemington Racecourse on Victoria Derby Day, November 4, to defend her title in the $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m).

Success in that will see I Am A Star become the first back-to-back Myer Classic winner since the event was inaugurated in 1988.

The likely path into the feature will likely be via the Group 1 $500,000 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield Racecourse on October 14 and the Group 2 $200,000 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) run on Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day a fortnight later.

“She’s been running well,” Nichols said.

“She just needed to be in the right race, with the right weight, and Ben [Melham] took control of the race.

“It wasn’t a big margin but she’ll still improve off that and her second run at the mile (this preparation) will be better than the first one.”

To back I Am A Star next race at the right spring racing odds head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.

2017 Stocks Stakes Results & Finishing Order

Moonee Valley Race 6 (9:00pm) – 29/09/2017

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Wgt. SP
1 7 I AM A STAR (NZ) Shane Nichols Ben Melham 7 56.5kg $3.50F
2 6 FLYING JESS John Moloney Tye Angland 0.4L 8 56.5kg $18
3 1 HELL OR HIGHWATER David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Dean Yendall 0.9L 9 57kg $4.20
4 11 SMART AS YOU THINK John McArdle Jamie Mott 2.4L 11 56.5kg $18
5 5 CONSOMMATEUR (NZ) Michael Kent Beau Mertens (a) 2.7L 10 57kg $41
6 3 LIZZIE L’AMOUR (NZ) Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman Hugh Bowman 2.8L 1 57kg $7
7 9 JENNIFER LYNN Darren Weir Blake Shinn 3.1L 4 56.5kg $11
8 10 EXOCET Anthony Freedman Mark Zahra 3.2L 6 56.5kg $20
9 4 HAPPY HANNAH David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Kerrin McEvoy 5.2L 2 57kg $26
10 8 MONTOYA’S SECRET Leon & Troy Corstens Joao Moreira 5.7L 12 56.5kg $12
11 12 HEAVENLY DESCENT Mick Price Jake Noonan 5.8L 5 56.5kg $17
12 2 RISQUE (NZ) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Regan Bayliss 7.05L 3 57kg $51

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