Star's Fame reaches new heights
  Story By Michael Lee     

Monday, 21 October 2019: Fame Star reeled off a fourth win on the bounce on Sunday, but the main message derived from the typically bold frontrunning display in the $85,000 Wild Geese 2014 Stakes, a Class 2 race over 1200m, was that he can definitely mix it with the best – and come up trumps.

Fame Star winning the WILD GEESE 2014 STAKES CLASS 2
Fame Star winning the WILD GEESE 2014 STAKES CLASS 2

At his first test in such company, the US-bred four-year-old by Twirling Candy was taking on a small but select field spearheaded by no less than last year's new sprint sensation, Bold Thruster.

The black son of Turffontein might have found one better at his first two starts for his new handler Michael Clements, but he was still widely favoured to finally stamp his class on Sunday.

Unfortunately, the top pick was never a threat to Fame Star ($19), who from the moment he hit terra firma to grab the lead, got away fairly cheaply with a soft lead before kicking clear upon straightening.

Caught three wide in midfield throughout, Bold Thruster stunningly had nothing left in the locker when jockey Joseph Azzopardi pulled the whip at the 300m.

With the biggest danger not in a winning mood and out of the equation, the coast was clear for Fame Star   to keep hitting the line strongly hard up against the rails, although he did shorten up a touch at the business end of the Long Course.

One length astern, Dragon Duke (Chin See Cheng) swooped down late to pinch second place from Be Bee (Matthew Kellady) by a head. The winning time was 1min 9.07secs for the 1200m on the Long Course.

The John O'Hara yard was at the receiving end of a rare race-to-race double after short-priced favourite ($8) Born To Win (Noh Senari) opened his account in the $30,000 Stepitup 2015 Stakes, a Class 5 Division 2 race over 1400m, making amends from his luckless last start when the runs didn't appear.

Representing O'Hara at the winner's circle was a suitably impressed assistant-trainer Stephen Crutchley (pictured), no doubt galvanised by that show of might from their rising star.

"I'm very happy he beat some good horses today. We tend to panic when we come up against horses like that, but he proved to be a very smart horse," said the Kiwi horseman.

"He had only 53.5kgs on his back, but he still won a nice race. Well done to Mel (bloodstock agent Ezekiel) and (owner) Constance (Cheng).

"The plan is to now set him for the EW Barker Trophy."

The Group 2 EW Barker Trophy is a handicap race over 1400m that will be run on November 8. Whichever weight he gets (his rating of 86 is likely to attract a few points from the handicapper after that latest pulsating win), leading apprentice jockey Simon Kok Wei Hoong is odds-on to keep the ride.

"It was a big test against Bold Thruster, but he's got great gate speed and he was too good, especially with the light weight today playing a big part," said Kok who has sat atop right through the four-in-a-row.

"I held him for as long as I could as he was on the Long Course this time. He has a good turn of foot but the burst may not be as long on the Long Course.

"I had to ride him more patient, save more petrol for the last bit, and luckily, he did the right thing."

Close to $330,000 is the new tidy sum reflected in Fame Star's account following that sixth win from 15 starts that also yielded six seconds and one third for the Toast Trusts & Kadima Stable.