Star Turn filly Starlacca came from the clouds for a maiden win that had everybody talking at Mornington on Monday.
Starlacca was racing on her home track following an encouraging debut at the Moonee Valley night meeting on December 15 but plans went awry after being squeezed out of the gates in the Homes & Acreage Maiden Plate (1000m). She was under the pump with the tailenders but started travelling at the 600m before hooking wide for the short run-in.
Teo Nugent allowed her to get balanced and then let rip with an overwhelming turn of foot to score eased down by two lengths. “Have a look at Starlacca with a mighty roar down the centre,” race-caller Terry Bailey cried. “She races away brilliantly and that was a big win!”
Mornington trainer Shane Nichols was also impressed. “She got the New Year off to a super start for a patient group of owners. Bring on 2024!
“They went hard today but Teo said apart from wobbling around the corner, he was confident she could pick them up in the straight. She’s handy alright and we’ve had a big opinion of her for some time.
“She’s tough and thrives in the stable but is still getting there mentally. We will look for another easy race and then send her out for a spell. I think she can progress and make a Stakes filly in the autumn!”
Starlacca was a $35,000 buy from Blake Ryan Racing at the 2022 Inglis Ready2Race Sale. “Blake gave me a push towards her and it’s worked out really well,” Nichols recalled. “She had some growing pains so we gave her time and now she’s a physically advanced 3yo filly.”
Her dam Malacca Cane (Big Brown) had already thrown winners by Mossman and Headwater for Vinery partner Alan Green (Echo Beach Bloodstock). She is a half-sister to the Victorian black-type winners Stokehouse (MRC Autumn Classic Gr.2, 1800m), Malasun (MRC Blue Diamond Preview LR, 1000m) and the dam of Regardsmaree (MRC Anniversary Vase LR, 1400m).
With a 75% winners-to-runners record, Star Turn is Vinery Stud’s strike-rate spearhead and he has 13 yearling entered for Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale. Among the highlights is Lot 815, the colt from Joyful Journey (Shamardal) being offered by Vinery (as agent) for his breeder Pat Hodgens.