A drying Randwick track will favour Victorian filly I Am A Star in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on day one of ‘The Championships’ today.
The Randwick track has been rated a Heavy 8 on race morning after recieving 35mm of rain in the last seven days but with a fine day ahead, track manager Nevesh Ramdhani is tipping an upgrade during the day.
“We know the track can dry pretty quickly so I suspect we will probably improve to the better side of the heavy track and then hopefully by some point in the afternoon we will get back to a soft track,” Ramdhani said.
I Am A Star is yet to perform on a rain affected track but trainer Shane Nichols said that the filly was in such good form that he is confident she will be competitive if the track continues to dry out during the day.
“I wasn’t happy with all the rain but today looks like a reasonable sort of day,” Nichols said.
“The track will have give in it but as long as it is not too heavy we should be fine.”
“If she doesn’t get too much of her toe in the ground – if it’s firm enough – she’ll run out of her skin because that run on Friday night (in the Sunline) topped her off nicely.”
“She’s improved off that and is just in a good place at the moment.”
“She’s had a wonderful preparation and she couldn’t do anything to disappoint me at this stage, but when you’re racing in these big handicaps you certainly need everything in your favour.”
I Am A Star has already beaten the older mares when she took out the Group 1 $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington during the 2016 Melbourne Cup Carnival and she is racing in great form with wins at her last two starts.
I Am A Star scored a narrow win in the Group 2 $200,000 Kewney Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 11 and then was a dominant winner in the Group 2 $200,000 Sunline Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on March 24.
Nichols has some reservations about I Am A Star jumping from the inside gate in the capacity twenty horse Doncaster Mile field but will let Dean Yendall find a nice spot behind the speed and hope she gets a trouble free run.
“I suppose it takes all the guess work out of it. We’ll just begin positively and be on the back of the speed somewhere and hopefully the inside holds on OK,” Nichols said.
“When you draw one, it’s not like drawing six or eight where you could possibly want to track the middle or get to the outside. With one, it’s already in place so we’ll probably just roll up the fence.”
I Am A Star is marked at $14 for the Doncaster Mile at Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Kris Lees trained Le Romain as the $5.50 favourite ahead of Newmarket Handicap winner Redkirk Warrior who has firmed in from $11 to $7.