Star Of Justice Heads Karaka Clean Sweep in Barneswood Farm Stakes

16 October 2023

Star of Justice winning the G3 Barneswood Farm Stakes. Photo: Race Images South

Karaka graduates finished first, second and third in the $100,000 Group Three Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton on Monday, headed by a bold black-type debut by Star Of Justice (Justify).

It was the second win of a three-start career for Star Of Justice, who has now banked $73,875 in stakes. She was offered by breeders Pencarrow Stud in Book 1 of Karaka 2022, where Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis bought her for $190,000.

The runner-up in the Barneswood Farm Stakes on Monday was the winner’s stablemate Viva Vienna (NZ) (NZ) (All Too Hard), who has now had eight starts for four wins, three placings and $137,275 in prize-money. She was a $100,000 purchase by Ellis from Book 1 of Karaka 2022.

The third-placed Luvnwar (NZ) (War Decree) was sold through Book 2 of Karaka 2022, where Riversley Park bought her for $22,500. She has had three starts for a win and a placing, earning $20,285.

Victory in the Barneswood Farm Stakes capped a rapid rise to prominence for Star Of Justice. She made her debut with a fourth placing in a five-horse field at Awapuni on August 26, then cleared maiden ranks by almost four lengths at Riccarton on September 16. The Ashburton feature was the third start of her career, and the exciting filly raised the bar again.

Ridden by Darren Danis, Star Of Justice settled in third place behind Illicit Dreams (NZ) (Vancouver) and Viva Vienna.

Viva Vienna strode purposefully to the lead at the top of the home straight, but the 1400-metre distance brought Star Of Justice right into her element. She hit top gear and overpowered her stablemate, surging past to win by a length.

Trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson are pointing Star Of Justice towards the Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 18, for which she is now among the favourites.

“She’s a filly that keeps improving out of sight,” Walker said. “Initially, as a two-year-old, she didn’t really show us much, but one day we put blinkers on her at Avondale trials, and she’s improved no end since.

“When she had the blinkers on at her second raceday start, we saw the same thing – she won at Riccarton. And it was just another really good win today.

“She was well ridden by Darren, who is underrated and going well at present, and the South Island team is doing an outstanding job.

“I think she’ll eat up a mile at Riccarton, absolutely love it, and she’s a filly with a high cruising speed which is really helpful as well.”

Vendor Pencarrow Stud
Purchaser Mr DC Ellis (Te Akau)
Breeding Justify – Fair Isle
Sale Lot 236, Karaka 2022 Book 1, $190,000
Bred by P J & P M Vela