New Zealand-bred mare I Am A Star is continuing to live up to her name on the racetrack with a string of feature-race wins against her own sex in Melbourne.
The Shane Nichols-trained five-year-old notched another feature win at Caulfield yesterday in the Gr. 3 Ladies’ Day Vase on the back of recent victories in the Let’s Elope Stakes and Stocks Stakes at Group Two level.
I Am A Star is now set to chase a second Group One win in the Empire Rose Stakes at Flemington on November 3.
“Bring it on,” Nichols said.
I Am A Star won the Flemington feature as a three-year-old in 2016, when it was known as the Myer Classic, and Nichols is confident the five-year-old is on target for the race again.
Nichols opted to scratch I Am A Star from a wide draw in last Saturday’s Gr. 1 Toorak Handicap at Caulfield, fearing she would get posted wide and have “a gutbuster”.
Instead he waited for the easier option of keeping I Am A Star to mares’ company yesterday, despite having the outside barrier and equal top weight of 58 kilograms.
I Am A Star began quickly under jockey Ben Melham to cross to the front, and from there Melham was able to control the race.
I Am A Star gave enough of a kick to comfortably hold her rivals at bay, beating Kenedna by a half-length with Oregon’s Day another half-head away third.
“I think after they had gone 100 metres she had gone from a $4 chance to a $1.50 pop,” Nichols said. “Once they were happy to just let him (Melham) dictate the race, she was going to take a hell of a lot of running down.”
I Am A Star took her record to 10 wins from 26 starts, with nine of her wins coming in Group races.