Trainer Shane Nichols believes he has his Group 1 winning mare I Am A Star in top shape for her return to the race track in the Group 3 $150,000 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
I Am A Star has overcome several problems that saw her miss the 2018 Autumn Carnival and according to Nichols the five year old topped off her Aurie’s Star Handicap preparation in fine style with an unextended fifth in an 800m Cranbourne barrier trial on Monday.
“That has topped her off beautifully,” Nichols told AAP.
“She had a nice blow and she’ll be A1 for Saturday.
“When he (Zahra) got a bit of room she went up to them nicely under her own steam.
“It’s not a target race on Saturday but I want her to have done enough work so she’s fit enough to go well and improve from the run, without the run hurting her.”
Melbourne jockey Mark Zahra will be having his first race ride on I Am A Star after getting a feel of her in the Cranbourne trial.
Nichols is hoping for a promising first up performance from I Am A Star before pushing on to the Group 2 $200,000 Stocks Stakes (1600m) at The Valley on September 28, the race the mare won last year.
I Am A Star burst into the limelight during her three year old season with a third in the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield followed by a win in the Group 1 $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
I Am A Star will be having her first run back since running last of eighteen in the 2017 Myer Classic during last year’s Spring Carnival.