After three unplaced runs to start her spring campaign, Group One winner I Am A Star has bounced back to win the Stocks Stakes at Moonee Valley.
Mornington trainer Shane Nichols opted not to take the mare to Sydney for Saturday’s Group One Epsom Handicap, preferring to keep her closer to home for Friday night’s 1600m-race for mares’.
And last year’s Myer Classic winner didn’t disappoint.
Ben Melham on I Am A Star controlled the Group Two race with the mare holding on to beat Flying Jess by a long neck with a half length to Hell Or Highwater third.
I Am A Star had finished fourth in the Aurie’s Star Handicap first-up before seventh placings in the Memsie Stakes and Let’s Elope Stakes at 1400m.
Nichols was thrilled to see his stable star return to the winner’s circle.
“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,” Nichols said.
“To come and win today is just terrific.”
The Group One Toorak Handicap (1600m) is the likely next step for I Am A Star with a defence of the Group One Myer Classic at Flemington also on the cards.
“She’s been running well,” Nichols said.
“She just needed to be in the right race, with the right weight, and Ben 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.”