Interstellar flies to Australian debut win

A filly owned by a Cathay Pacific pilot has made a flying start to her Australian racing career by winning on debut.

Hong Kong-based Gary Lui was on the phone to co-trainer Michael Hawkes when Interstellar won a 1200m benchmark race at Rosehill on Saturday.

Despite the owner not being able to see the race, Hawkes said he could sense Lui’s enthusiasm.

“I had the owner on the phone from Hong Kong,” Hawkes said.

“He was listening to it – he was pretty excited.”

Interstellar jumped well with jockey Tommy Berry sitting outside leader Reward For Fashion.

Nothing could round Interstellar ($7) up in the straight as she held on to win by a neck from Tremor ($9), with Rock On Zariz ($11) 1-1/4 lengths away third.

Hawkes says the stable will adopt a patient approach with Interstellar, which now has three wins from six starts.

“I don’t think we’ll overtax her this time around,” Hawkes said.

“We’ll look after her and hopefully get the best out of her in the autumn.”

Interstellar is a half-sister to 2015 New Zealand Oaks winner Savaria, indicating she could be stepped up in distance later in her career.

“I think the further she gets the better she will be,” Hawkes said.

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