Starosa and hoop Thorn­ton grad­u­ate with hon­our at Doomben

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - CHRIS HONNERY

TAL­ENTED two- year- old Starosa has booked her ticket to­wards the Group One JJ Atkins as star jockey Stephanie Thorn­ton reached a ca­reer mile­stone at Doomben yesterday.

Starosa ($1.30) made it two wins in a row when she led all the way for an easy win in the

Lexus 2YO (1350m) at Doomben.

The win was put down to a clever change in race-day gear af­ter blink­ers seemed to af­fect the filly in her early rac­ing.

Trainer Tony Gol­lan re­moved the blink­ers for her run at Doomben last month and she scored a sur­prise win.

It meant the blink­ers stayed off the filly’s race-day gear yesterday and she per­formed strongly. Gol­lan ad­mit­ted in a nor­mal rac­ing year Starosa would tackle the sec­ond tier two-year-old races.

“A race like the Phoenix Stakes at 1500m would have been her mis­sion,” Gol­lan said.

“But with a re­duced win­ter pro­gram we might as well have a crack at a Group One in the JJ Atkins (on June 6).

“I think she will run a strong mile so the 1400m of this year’s Atkins is no prob­lem. Starosa was sent to us as a year­ling and she has de­vel­oped into one of the finds of the sea­son.”

Gol­lan said he would con­sider an­other race for Starosa in the next three weeks as a lead-up to the JJ Atkins. Starosa firmed from $51 to $15 for the JJ Atkins af­ter her win.

It gave ap­pren­tice Stephanie Thorn­ton back-to-back wins af­ter she took the pre­vi­ous race on Mount Beauty in the 1110m Maiden Hand­i­cap.

The two wins for Thorn­ton came af­ter grad­u­at­ing from her ap­pren­tice claim to se­nior jockey. She fol­lowed up the early vic­to­ries with a third on The Odyssey in the Three­Years-Old Plate (1200m).

Stephanie Thorn­ton on Starosa

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