I Am A Star Wins The Group One Myer Classic

Oct 29, 2016

Trainer Shane Nichols couldn’t hide his delight when three-year-old filly I Am Starprovided him with a first Group 1 victory in the $500,000 Myer Classic at Flemington on Saturday.

The daughter of I Am Invincible had gone close when runner-up in the Thousand Guineas against her own age two starts earlier and Nichols being so near just made this result even sweeter.

“It’s an enormous buzz, I’m not sure I can explain the feeling,” Nichols said.

“To train your first Group 1 winner at Flemington during the carnival on Derby Day is something that you dream of.”

Nichols said I Am Star’s biggest asset was her maturity, which allowed her to make the most of the weight advantage she had over the older mares.

“She’s such a mature filly and nothing bothers her, she eats, she’s sound, she just goes about her work and if there’s another horse getting stressed near her she doesn’t care,” Nichols said.

“She was bred in New Zealand, was sold in Sydney, she’s trained in Melbourne, she’s been to Adelaide, been to Sydney and back to Melbourne so she’s like a nine-year-old gelding but she’s got a bit of toe.”

I Am Star ($8.50) defeated French Emotion ($31) by a long-neck, with Denmagic ($61) a further long-neck away in third.

The result provided jockey Dean Yendall with his second success at the highest level, only three weeks after he secured his first Group 1 win aboard Yankee Rose in the Spring Champion Stakes.

Yendall predicted a bright future for the filly and even mentioned the 2017 Caulfield Cup as a possible option.

“This is the best,” Yendall said.

“She gave me a nice kick at the 400m and I thought with the light weight on her back hopefully she’s going to be good enough to hang on which she thankfully was.

“I might sound a bit stupid here, but with the way she settled, I think she might make a nice little mare next season maybe in a race like the Caulfield Cup.”

The Myer Classic saw several fancied runners flop with the top four in betting all finishing in the second half of the field.

Dwayne Dunn (Don’t Doubt Mamma, $5.50), Blake Shinn (First Seal, $6.50) and Damian Lane (Rising Romance, $31) felt their mounts were unsuited by the firm track.

Hugh Bowman conceded that last month’s Group 2 Blazer Stakes winner French Emotion is ‘barely a Group 1 horse’ but she came within a long neck of claiming victory.

“Everything went our way and she just came up a bit short,” Bowman said.

The last-start Blazer Stakes runner-up Pure Pride ($51) was again luckless in defeat, finishing fifth in the Myer after being denied clear galloping room for much of the straight.

“She’s only had eight starts and had they galloped on any further she’d be in the finish,” Pure Pride’s rider Craig Williams said.

Trainer Simon Miller said that the other three-year-old in the race, Whispering Brook ($6), did not enjoy an ideal preparation leading into the Myer.

‘’It was unorthodox at least to have to trial on the Tuesday and then race on the Saturday and she was being trained to run 2000 metres,’’ he said.

‘’But the race was on and we decided to go for it. She’ll go home now go to the paddock and then we’ll have a look at her and see if she is ready to run in our (WA) Guineas (November 190. If not, then she can have a good spell and we’ll look at our autumn options.”