Last start winner I Am A Star has enough gate speed to overcome a wide barrier in the Group 2 $200,000 Sunline Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
I Am A Star raced in the first there and four last start when she scored a nose win over Ellicazoom in the Group 2 $200,000 Kewney Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 11 and her jockey Dean Yendall is certain to take up a handy position again from barrier nine in the ten horse Sunline Stakes field.
Lightweight jockey Dean Yendall was aboard the Shane Nichols trained filly when she beat the older mares in the Group 1 $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival and made it two from two with his winning ride in the Kewney Stakes.
Yendall is now looking for a hat trick of wins on the I Am Invincible filly who has been installed the $2.50 favourite for the Sunline Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au as she prepares to take on the mares again.
Another winning performance by I Am A Star will see Nichols in the position of selecting either the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 1 or the Group 1 $1m Coolmore Legacy Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick a week later as her target for ‘The Championships’.
“If she’s good enough to win and the weather clears up in the Sydney then we’ve still got the option to go to the Doncaster or the Coolmore Legacy Stakes (Queen Of The Turf Stakes),” Nichols told racing.com.
“A soft track would be OK but we don’t want a heavy track for her.
“If she is dominant in the Sunline and the weather is dry in Sydney then we’ll go to the dry track first in the Doncaster rather than risk waiting another week and potentially getting another wet track.
“Looking at the long-range forecast, this week and next week in Sydney is OK but then it gets wet again so if she is impressive this week we’ll look at the Doncaster.”
The John Thompson trained First Seal will strip fitter following her lacklustre first up performance when fifteenth to Heavens Above in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 11.
The Fastnet Rock mare has drawn barrier seven with Blake Shinn in the saddle again.
Six year old mare Rising Romance will carry the number one saddle cloth and has drawn mid-field at barrier five with Regan Bayliss replacing Damien Oliver.
Rising Romance also has had one run back from a spell and made up plenty of ground from the back to run second to Sunline Stakes rival Turbo Miss in the Group 3 $150,000 Frances Tressady Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 4.
The John O’Shea trained Circular has drawn the outside barrier in the ten horse field and Craig Williams takes over from Joao Moreira who partnered the mare when she scored a last start win in the Group 3 $150,000 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) at Flemington on March 11.
Trainer David Brideoake has added the blinkers to Thames Court for the Sunline Stakes and the Commands mare will jump from gate eight with Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
I Am A Star is a clear cut favourite for the Sunline Stakes at $2.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au, well ahead of First Seal at $5, Circular at $7 and Thames Court at $7.50.