Winner of the Group I VRC Myer Classic as a three year-old, top class I Am Invincible mare I am a Star showed she was back to her best with a tenacious nose win in the Group II VRC Let’s Elope Stakes over 1400m at Flemington on Saturday.
The Shane Nichols trained mare was at her best at her third run back from a spell and hopefully there are more wins in store for her this spring.
Nichols explained I Am A Star has shelly feet and developed a splint-bone injury that forced her to miss the autumn after a successful spring last year when she won the Group II MVRC Stocks Stakes.
Her owner Mathew Sandblom gave the go ahead for a spring campaign although the mare could have been sent off to stud if her form didn’t warrant racing on.
“We were run-to-run in the first part of the prep because we had time,” Nichols said.
“If she had a run or two and she failed, we could still send her to stud.”
Nichols is planning returning to Moonee Valley for the Stocks Stakes and from there will likely head back to the Group I VRC Myer Classic, which she won two years ago.
“The only thing we need to think about is where we go after the Stocks Stakes into the Myer,” Nichols said.
“Do we run in the Toorak or do we wait and go straight into the Myer.
“Ideally I would like to try her at a mile and a quarter (2000m) at the end of the Flemington carnival, but let’s just go one step at a time.”
I Am a Star was a $40,000 Inglis Classic purchase for James Harron Bloodstock from the Broadwater Farm Thoroughbreds draft and has won eight of 24 starts and over $1.3 million in prizemoney for owner Matthew Sandblom of Kingstar Farm and Newgate Farm.
I Am a Star was actually bred in New Zealand by Eales Racing and was sold at the NZB Weanling Sale for $12,000 out of the Rich Hill Stud draft before being sent to Australia for re-sale.
A full sister to stakes-placed Band on the Run, I Am a Star is the third winner for Star Band (USA), a half-sister by Dixieland Band to Group III winner Common World from the family of Australian Group I winner Pear Tart.
I Am a Star was one of several stakes horses on Saturday for Yarraman Park’s flagship sire I Am Invincible, who also had Invincible Star finish second in the Group II ATC The Shorts and Fiesta run second in the Group II ATC Tea Rose Stakes.