I Am A Star Captures The Quezette

Aug 13, 2016

Mornington trainer Shane Nichols and Steven King combined to win yet another feature race when I Am A Star claimed Saturday’s $150,000 Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) in the last stride.

I Am A Star ($6.50) jumped from the outside barrier (13) and settled in 11th position before unleashing a sharp acceleration down the middle of the straight to beat fellow swooper Leotie ($11) by a head.

Athena Lass ($10) attempted to lead throughout but faded on her run over the final 100m, finishing third.

“I thought halfway down the straight ‘she’s going to run a nice race’ but she found the line,” Nichols said before adding, “She’s certainly a winner.”

“If she had drawn barrier five I would have been nervous and thinking about what could possibly happen.

“But when we drew the outside it released all the pressure. We could ride her conservatively and allow her to run well and just enjoy having a nice horse in a nice race.”

I Am A Star ended last campaign by winning the Group 3 National Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville in May, also with King aboard, and he described I Am A Star as a ‘very nice filly’.

“It’d be nice if she could get a mile down the track and develop into a nice Thousand Guineas filly,” King said.

I Am A Star was the third Stakes winner for Nichols in the past decade, all of those major victories ridden by King. Their other Stakes victory came when Wordsmith won the 2007 C.S. Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.

The daughter of I Am Invincible will have her next start in the listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley for three-year-old fillies on September 3.

Leotie ran the quickest closing sectionals of the Quezette with rider Chris Parnham describing the run as being ‘super’.

“She was off the bridle the entire way and the Thousand Guineas is looking good for her,” Parnham said.

Modern Wonder ($5.50 favourite) finished last after racing outside the lead and rider Daniel Moor was at a loss to explain the poor performance.

“She copped a squeeze out of the gates and it took a stride or two to get her head down and relax,” Moor said.

“She got into a good rhythm but it was just the way the leader (Athena Lass) hung on for third (and she ran last).

“We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and see how she pulls up. Hopefully there’s something that can explain the run because it was a very uncharacteristic effort.”

By RACING.COM