2016 Bletchingly Stakes to Determine Future for Runway Star

July 25th, 2016

Trainer Phillip Stokes has revealed that Saturday’s Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield could very well mark the final competitive appearance of Runway Star before she is retired into a career as a broodmare.

Runway Star could retire from racing following Saturday's Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield. Photo: Jenny Barnes

Runway Star could retire from racing following Saturday’s Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield. Photo: Jenny Barnes

Runway Star has been a strong and consistent performer through a reasonably spaced racing career to date; claiming six wins and a further three minors through only eighteen competitive appearances.

Last seen at the races winning the Group 3 Proud Miss Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on May 21st, Stokes told Racing Victoria he would like to saddle the Northern Meteor mare through a Spring Carnival campaign, following her run in the Bletchingly Stakes 2016.

“She’s got some nice Black-type in Adelaide but we thought it would be important if we could get some Black-type in Melbourne before she goes to stud,” Stokes said.

“I’d actually like to get her out over a bit further and I think 1400 is not beyond her.

“A race like the Let’s Elope Stakes might be a nice race for her, but her owners, Vinery Stud, will make the ultimate decision as to when she has her last run.”

Runway Star arrived in the care of Stokes following the recent retirement of Melbourne-based trainer Peter Moody, and the leading South Australian horseman believes the mare will prove tough to beat in the Bletchingly Stakes.

“She seems to like having her runs spaced. I gave her a soft trial at Murray Bridge two weeks ago and I’ve been really happy with her work since,” Stokes said.

“Because of her racing pattern she always needs luck but doesn’t know how to run a bad race and she should run well.”

Runway Star failed to make anything of an impression in a single spring start in 2015, but returned to racing this year in the best way possible; taking out the Listed Matrice Stakes (1200m) by a length on March 14th, in what was her final start for Moody.

Debuting for Stokes third in the Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes (1100m) on April 23rd, Runway Star ran a credible sixth in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) on May 7th, in what was her only other start prior to the Proud Miss Stakes.

The 2016 Bletchingly Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.

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