Star Shines Bright

Date: 17 Feb 2024

Star Shines Bright

Given a lovely trip by jockey Warren Kennedy, Star In The Sky (4 m Savabeel – Pikari Star, by Choisir) delivered in the $22,500 Rating 60 1400 metres on 16 February at New Plymouth.

Required to trial after blowing her chances at the start in the Rating 60 1600 metres on 17 January at Te Rapa, Star In The Sky did that satisfactorily when rounding off well over a sprint trip on 23 January at Taupo, and trainers Mark Walker & Sam Bergerson applied the blinkers on this occasion.

Although settling back, there was no such reoccurrence and, following a perfect drag into proceedings nearing the home, turn she sustained a strong finish to win well.

It was the 20th victory by Kennedy for the stable this season and he sits atop the premiership with 83 wins.

“It was a really good win today and lovely ride of Warren’s,” Walker said. 

“I’m very happy for the owners, who have been so patient with her. She’s been quite a slow maturing horse and we think she’ll be better again next year as a five-year-old.

“She’s taken time to strengthen, but she’s continuing to develop really well and I think the owners will reap further rewards into the autumn and again next season.

“The win will also give her a lot of confidence and we certainly think she’s got the makeup to appreciate getting over more distance.”

On Good4 footing, in the race sponsored by Peninsular Beachfront Resort Mooloolaba, Star In The Sky ran in 1:24.0, last 600m in 35.0, and paid $5.00 & $1.90 on the NZ TAB tote. 

Owned by Te Akau Star Strike Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Star In The Sky was purchased as a yearling by David Ellis CNZM for $145,000, from the draft of Yulong Investments, at the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. 

Star In The Sky is from a leading Waikato Stud family, going back to third dam Starcent (Centaine), Joint Third Top in the NZ 3YO Free Handicaps, who became an incredible producer of winners including Make A Wish (Pins).

Make A Wish left I Wish I Win (Savabeel), entrusted by Waikato Stud to be trained by Te Akau, who made an immediate impact winning on debut before finishing second to stable-mate On the Bubbles (Brazen Beau) in Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr. 1, 1400m). 

I Wish I Win since became a household name in Australasian racing, winning the $10 million Golden Eagle and finishing runner-up in the $20 million Everest, while also winning the T J Smith Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m), and over $10 million in prize money.

“It’s a very talented family that we knew well, especially through having Savy Yong Blonk in the stable, who kept improving as a staying mare before eventually winning the Livamol Classic (Gr. 1, 2040m),” Ellis said.

“And then, of course, I Wish I Win, who developed into one of the best horses in Australasia.

“We thought she (Star In The Sky) was very good buying at the price, given the service fee, with so much happening in the pedigree and family.

“By winning races, and with what’s happening around her, she’s becoming an increasingly valuable mare.”

A deep family of quality horses, grand-dam Etoile Fille (No Excuse Needed), is half-sister to Ambitious (Last Tycoon), the grand-dam of Savy Yong Blonk, that finished second in the 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) and left seven individual winners of 22 races, and half-sister to Make A Wish, both being out of Starcent (Centaine). 

Star In The Sky also has a three-year-old half-brother by Champion Sire Written Tycoon (Iglesia), State Of Light, and two-year-old half-sister by exciting new sire Grunt (O’Reilly) named Banshee. 

Dam sire Choisir (Danehill Dancer) also brings an interesting component to Star In The Sky. Australian Champion Two-Year-Old and a history making racehorse, Choisir (Danehill Dance) won the Lightning Stakes (Gr. 1, 1000m) at Flemington, and beat the best sprinters in the world when winning the King’s Stand Stakes (Gr. 2, 1000m) and Golden Jubilee Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) at Royal Ascot in the U.K., before becoming highly successful at stud.

Choisir is a sire of sires, including New Zealand Champion Sire last season Proisir, while also garnering reputation as an outstanding broodmare sire.

Star In The Sky is by eight-time Champion Sire Savabeel (Zabeel), a stallion whose progeny have recorded over 263 stakes wins, surpassing his grand-sire Sir Tristram (Sir Ivor), while closing in on Zabeel (276). 

Star In The Sky was strapped by Tanweer Alam. 

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