Group Three Win for Exciting Pencarrow Graduate

Pencarrow Stud celebrated a new stakes-winning graduate when lightly raced filly Star Of Justice (Justify) stepped on to the Group Three stage in style in the $100,000 Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton on Monday.

The chestnut filly was bred by Pencarrow and sold through the Pencarrow draft in Book 1 of Karaka 2022. She caught the eye of Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis, who secured her for $190,000.

The Barneswood Farm Stakes was only the third career start for Star Of Justice, who has now recorded two highly impressive victories and earned $73,875 for her owners the Te Akau Fair & Just Racing Partnership.

Trained by Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson, Star Of Justice was a fourth placegetter on debut in late August, then took a big step forward with a four-length win at Riccarton in her second start on September 16. Her trainers had no hesitation in raising the bar to black-type level for start number three, and Star Of Justice proved that she was well and truly up to the task.

Ridden by Darren Danis, Star Of Justice enjoyed a comfortable run in third, then was presented at the top of the straight to lodge her challenge. Her proven stakes-winning stablemate Viva Vienna (NZ) (All Too Hard) raced to the lead with a strong burst 300 metres from home, but Star Of Justice saw out the 1400-metre distance more strongly and finished over the top of her to win by one length.

“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 (for the Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas on November 18), absolutely love it, and she’s a filly with a high cruising speed which is really helpful as well.”

Star Of Justice became the 22nd individual stakes winner for her sire Justify, who was an undefeated and super-impressive winner of the famous American Triple Crown before embarking on an exciting career at Coolmore Stud.

The dam of Star Of Justice is Fair Isle (NZ) (Fastnet Rock), who has produced four named foals and they have all been winners. Zacouver (NZ) (Vancouver) and Far And Away (NZ) (Tavistock) both won races, while Stonybreck (Tavistock) has been a five-race winner in the Te Akau colours.

Fair Isle is a daughter of Miss Scarlatti (NZ) (Stravinsky), who won the Listed Super Impose Stakes (1800m) and placed in another five black-type races including the Group One VRC Oaks (2500m). Miss Scarlatti is also a half-sister to the Group winners and Group One performers Abidewithme (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice) and Stockman (NZ) (Tavistock).

Fair Isle foaled another filly by Justify in the spring of 2022.