Starcraft spotlight on Inglis Premier

Interest in the 21 yearlings by Arrowfield sire Starcraft at the upcoming Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale has been sharpened by a trio of smart fillies from his 2010 crop.

On Thursday at Bendigo, Leia (3f Starcraft – Gibraltar Campion by Rock of Gibraltar) finished strongly over 1000 metres for her second win in four starts from the Leon Corstens stable.

Purchased by Spicer Thoroughbreds for $220,000 from the Arrowfield draft at the 2012 Inglis Easter Sale, Leia’s Spring campaign was derailed by a virus, but she looks ready to progress further this Autumn.  Brad Spicer reports that a start at Moonee Valley next Friday evening is the next possibility for her.

Leia’s full sister is Lot 280 at Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.  “She’s a lovely type, a fluent mover with great balance,” Arrowfield’s Sam Fairgray said.  “And she has a pedigree to match.”

In New Zealand on Wednesday, Astardia (3f Starcraft – Ransom Claim by Red Ransom) put up a performance reminiscent of the maiden win of her famous stablemate It’s A Dundeel, when she swept from the back of the field to win handily over 1600 metres at Pukekohe.

Astardia, a grand-daughter of 2YO stakeswinner and Golden Slipper placegetter Loving Cup, was purchased by trainer Murray Baker for $65,000 from the Wellfield Lodge draft at the 2012 New Zealand Premier Sale.

She is raced by long-time Baker stable client John Rattray, who also raced Group 2 winner Fatal and Group 1 winner Dowry (now an Arrowfield broodmare), in partnership with Alastair Lawrence and Dave Mitchell.

“She’s a very nicely put together filly with a beautiful temperament,” Rattray said. “I liked the way she flattened out over the last 100 metres.”

Likely races for her now include the Lowland Stakes G3 at Hastings on March 1 or the Sunline Vase G3 at Ellerslie on March 5.

The Baker stable has good experience with the Starcraft tribe after preparing his daughter We Can Say It Now to win twice at Group 1 level.

Last Thursday at Seymour, Choose (3f Starcraft – Choices Are by Redoute’s Choice) turned in a determined effort to win comfortably on debut. Choose was an $80,000 buy for trainers Lee & Shannon Hope from the 2012 New Zealand Ready to Run Sale and is from a three-quarter sister to Group 3 winner and Blue Diamond G1 runner-up Shaaheq.

The Melbourne Premier catalogue includes two colts bred on the Starcraft – Redoute’s Choice cross, Arrowfield’s Lot 46, from Any Other Day and Supreme Thoroughbreds’ Lot 254, from Fair Choice.