Group One winner I Am A Star has been given a soft barrier trial at Cranbourne which her trainer says is all she needs ahead of her first-up run at Caulfield.
The Shane Nichols-trained filly finished fourth of five runners in a 800m-heat on Tuesday and showed she is ready for her first-up tilt at the Rubiton Stakes on Saturday.
Nichols said the small field on Tuesday after a 24-hour rain delay convinced him to give the Myer Classic winner the 800m hit-out.
He said if the field had attracted 10 runners he would have scratched and instead galloped the three-year-old at Sandown on Wednesday.
“We wanted to have a controlled track gallop,” Nichols said.
“I knew there would be a lot of scratchings and if there had not been I would have taken her to Sandown on Wednesday for a gallop.
“With only a small field we could regulate what she did fairly easily.
“Even though she is fresh, she is compliant in that measure and she’s pulled up beautiful.”
Nichols said the trip from his Mornington base to Cranbourne was about getting I Am A Star’s game face back on.
“It was about leaving the gates, travel clean and to make sure everything is right for starting her prep,” he said.
“We’ve got a long prep ahead of us, whether that’s in Melbourne or Sydney.
“We’ll tee off with no weight on our back in the Rubiton on Saturday and then she should be cherry ripe for wherever she goes next.”
After Saturday, I Am A Star will progress to the Angus Armanasco Stakes at Caulfield on February 25.
“Physically she’s much better this time, but she has to be,” Nichols said.
“She’s coming up against some quality horses.
“We managed to beat the mares in the Myer, now we have to play against the boys.”