3 Win Saturday - Star of Justice Shines

Date: 17 Sep 2023

3 Win Saturday - Star of Justice Shines


Appreciating good ground, Star Of Justice (3 f Justify – Fair Isle, by Fastnet Rock) recorded a second-up win in the $25,000 Maiden 1200 metres on Saturday at Riccarton.


Unable to quicken on Heavy10 when debuting in the 3YO 1100 metres on 26 August at Awapuni, Star Of Justice had the addition of blinkers and appeared much happier stretching out of Good3 footing. 

Ridden positively by Warren Kennedy, Star Of Justice crossed to lead soon after the start, controlled the tempo nicely, and commenced putting a buffer between she and her rivals inside the 400m.

It was a facile victory in the finish (3¾ lengths), by a well related filly that looks to have a bright future and holds a nomination for the 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) during Cup Week in November at Riccarton. 

“She’s got some gate speed and the track’s pretty firm, so we got up on the speed, she never looked back and won pretty easily,” Kennedy said. 

In the race sponsored by Canterbury Westland Racing Owners Association, Star Of Justice ran 1200 metres in 1:09.2 and returned $3.30 & $1.30 on the NZ TAB tote. 

Prior to the race, co-trainer Sam Bergerson said: “We’ve got a good team in today and Ashley (Handley) and Kendyll (Lee) and the riders are really happy with how they’re progressing.

“She trialled up really well and we went to Palmy (Awapuni) with a bit of confidence. Her work had been super leading into it, and Joe (Kamaruddin) rode her that day and said she never went an inch in the (heavy) ground.

“She’s travelled down really well and bright and on her toes out the back, we think she should improve and blinkers should sharpen her up.”

Sharpen her up, they did, and post race, he said: “Warren (Kennedy) controlled the race in front and the filly was really impressive in blinkers. 

“She’d worked well in them leading into it and we were quietly confident she was going to run a really good race. 

“We’ve always really liked her and we think she is certainly progressive over more ground. It’s a nice springboard for her spring campaign.”



Co-trainer Mark Walker added: “It was a great win today, and Dave (Ellis) purchased her because we always thought a lot of her half-brother Stonybreck.

“I think she’s got a lot more in store once she gets out to a mile and even a mile and a quarter (2000m), she’ll eat up the ground. 

“She's having just her second start, so there’s plenty of improvement to come and the sire, Justify, looks quite exciting too.”

Owned by Te Akau Fair & Just Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Star Of Justice was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $190,000 at the Karaka 2022 Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Pencarrow Stud, and a half-sister to stable-mate and winner of five from 11 Stonybreck (Tavistock).

“We were actually so taken with him (Stonybreck) that I went back the following year, in 2022, and bought his half-sister by the Triple Crown winner Justify,” Ellis said. 

“We had a good look at her and really liked what we saw. She cost a bit more, $190,000, but from a family with deep black type pedigree and quality.

“We’ve got a great group of owners in the filly, including Emily Bosson after Opie (Bosson) bought a share for her birthday.”



Star Of Justice is by recent US Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy), achieving the rare feat in 2018, from a mare by Champion Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill).  She is closely related to Te Akau trained sprinter Need I Say More (No Nay Never), who recorded six of his seven wins in stakes races.

Like Justify, his sire, No Nay Never is also by Scat Daddy, while both Need I Say More and this filly are out of Fastnet Rock mares. 

Te Akau has had tremendous success with progeny of Fastnet Rock, none more so than nine time Group One winner Avantage, while also experiencing success with him as a broodmare sire.

The depth in family is enormous. Second dam Miss Scarlatti (Stravinsky) won a listed race and also strung together second placed finishes in Norman Robinson (Gr. 3, 2000m), Wakefield Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m), and VRC Oaks (Gr. 1, 2500m) in space of three starts as a three-year-old.

Her half-sister Abidewithme (Redoute’s Choice) was trained by Te Akau to record nine wins, including the Travis Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m), Tauranga Stakes (Gr. 2, 1600m), and three times Group One placed.   Both Abidewithme and Miss Scarlatti are from tremendously talented race mare Crimson (Zabeel), Third Top Filly in NZ 3YO Classifications. 

Star Of Justice carries a cross to English Triple Crown winner Nijinsky, while dam Fair Isle has a Northern Dancer cross.


Star Of Justice was strapped by Kendyll Lee. 


Photo credit - Ajay Berry - www.raceimages.co.nz 


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