Fortuna Two Year Old Filly, STAR SHADOW, makes a winning debut at Otaki 13th April

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 13th April at Otaki.

A sizeable grey filly, Star Shadow had been the beneficiary of five solid trials ahead of her race debut, most recently steadying back from the outside gate and storming home late for second on 28 March at Tauranga and was 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 Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr. 1, 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 post race. “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

Click HERE to see the race replay

Star Shadow became the 15th individual two winner this season for trainers Mark Walker & 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 and Fortuna owned 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 Filly 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.”

2yo Filly “Star Shadow” wins on debut Otaki 13th April – Wiremu Pinn aboard

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 and his Fortuna Team. We’re thrilled to get another winner for John 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 and the way she finished off was good to see and the further she gets, in time, the better she’ll be I think”

Unable to be present on track at Otaki, Fortuna Director John Galvin watched the race from his Hamilton home and loved what he saw. “She was last in the running, but I could see that Wiremu had got her to relax nicely and I was pretty sure she would come right into it in the run home and while the 2nd placed horse, Ballon d’Or, made it a bit of a dogfight closing stages, our Filly got the job done nicely. Big kudos to Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson for how they have handled this Filly – selected by us at the 2023 Karaka Sale as a 3yo type, she showed early Two Year old precociousness, however they resisted the temptation to make her race debut earlier, focusing on making sure she was well prepared before making her debut”

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 an Ownership Group consisting of 65 individuals,  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.