Second Saturday 2YO Winner

Date: 14 Apr 2024

Second Saturday 2YO Winner

Making a perfect start to her racing career, Star Shadow (2 f Reliable Man – Scene Queen) won the $35,000 McMillan Equine Feeds 2YO 1300 metres on Saturday at Otaki.

A sizeable grey filly, Star Shadow had been solid through the trials' stage, most recently steadying back from the outside gate and storming home late for second on 28 March at Tauranga and, in our view, rated a top three chance from barrier one on debut.

In similar style to his recent winning ride on stable-mate Move To Strike (I Am Invincible) in the Group 1 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Trentham, jockey Wiremu Pinn was content biding his time at the back of a small field and after circling up with more to offer Star Shadow always appeared to have an edge.

“She was a sweetheart to ride and very professional,” Pinn said. “She tucked her head and relaxed nicely and when I asked her to go, she went.

“Kudos to her, she’s a nice filly and hopefully she can press on.”

Although just a half head margin, Star Shadow got the job done on Heavy8 footing, ground that can prove tricky for young horses, and drifted in betting to pay $3.50 & $1.80 on the NZ TAB tote after running the 1300 metres in 1:20.3.

Star Shadow became the 15th individual two winner this season for Te Akau trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson, winning 22 races, including Group One winner Move To Strike (I Am Invincible), dual Group Two and Group Three winner Captured By Love (Written Tycoon), Group Two winner Bellatrix Star (Star Witness), and Group Three winner Star Of Justice (Justify).

“It was a really nice win and a good patient ride of Wiremu’s,” said co-trainer Mark Walker.

“She’s a really nice horse that Dave (Ellis) and John (Galvin) bought cheaply at Karaka.

“I loved the way she relaxed and finished the race off and she looks to have a bright future.”

On course looking after the team at Otaki, Te Akau racing manager Reece Trumper added: “It was a great ride by Wiremu. He is riding a lot of work for us and deserves these opportunities, and well done to John Galvin.

“We’re thrilled to get another winner for him because he’s a big supporter of all our stables, at Matamata, Riccarton, Australia, and Singapore.

“I think it probably played into her hands being a wet track. She’s bred to be on rain-affected ground, so that was ideal to see.

“The way she finished off was good to see and the further she gets, in time, the better she’ll be I think.

“There are (two-year-old) stakes' races coming up in the North Island and South Island, or send her out for a break and get her ready for the three-year-old season.”

Purchased by David Ellis CNZM and Fortuna Racing for $35,000 at the 2023 Karaka Book 2 Sale, from the draft of Westbury Stud, Star Shadow is a rare two-year-old winner for her sire, who won two Group One races to 2100 metres and whose progeny excel as three-year-olds and upwards.

Owned by Fortuna Star Shadow Syndicate (Mgr: John Galvin), Star Shadow is out of a mare by world-class champion sire Redoute’s Choice, and carries a Northern Dancer cross on the dam line of Reliable Man (Dalakhani) and sire line of Scene Queen.

Star Shadow was strapped by Ashley Handley.

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