I Am A Star has lived up to her name, providing trainer Shane Nichols with his first Group One winner.
Backing up from a placing at Moonee Valley against her own age last week, I Am A Star was one of two three-year-olds to take on the older mares in the Myer Classic at Flemington on Saturday.
She became the first filly to win the Group One feature since three-year-olds became eligible in 2002.
Ridden by Dean Yendall, I Am A Star ($8.50) scored a long neck victory over French Emotion ($31), with Denmagic ($61) a short head away in third.
I Am A Star was Nichols’ second Group One runner after the filly finished second in the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield on October 8.
“It’s an enormous buzz. I’m not sure I can explain the feeling,” Nichols said.
The trainer had no hesitation giving the filly her second start within eight days after she undertook a blood test earlier in the week.
“Her blood was stronger this week than it had been all prep,” Nichols said.
“She’s really glowed and blossomed through the prep, which is why we’ve been able to achieve something like this today.”
Yendall, who mostly rides on the country circuit, sits in third place on the national jockeys premiership and landed his second Group One victory.
His first came earlier in the month when Yankee Rose won the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick.
Yendall took over from veteran rider Steven King, who was unable to make Saturday’s 49kg.
“I was able to dictate across and give her a nice, comfortable run,” Yendall said.
“There was a bit of pressure from Zac (Purton) on Euro Angel getting to the 600 metres.
“I was able to be in the right spot into the straight and she gave me a nice kick out of the 400 (metres), and I thought with that weight hopefully I’m going to be good enough to hold them off.”
Yendall rode Yankee Rose into third place in last week’s Cox Plate, where that filly had 47.5kg and was contacted by Nichols well in advance to ride I Am A Star at 49kg on Saturday.
First Seal finished eighth as a $6.50 third favourite and trainer John Thompson and jockey Blake Shinn said the mare felt the firm track.
Dwayne Dunn, who rode the $5.50 favourite Don’t Doubt Mamma, said she was simply disappointing.
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