Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Promising three-year-old filly Our Star Billing continues to improve, and she has obviously inherited much of her ability from her sire Follow The Stars, a son of Art Major who was the 2014 Australian and New Zealand two-year-old of the year and was retired after 29 starts produced 19 wins seven seconds, two thirds and $707,237 in stakes.
She is out of the Mach Three mare Adaptability, who failed to win a race from 24 starts and managed just three placings on WA country tracks.
However, a more in-depth study of her pedigree reveals that Our Star Billing is bred to be a good winner. Her maternal great granddam Chaangerr produced ten winners, including Changeover (66 starts for 29 wins, 16 placings and $2,321,676), Change Gear (138 starts for 22 wins, 29 placings and $190,884) and Change Stride (172 starts for 30 wins, 48 placings and $409,733).
Change Stride raced 41 times in WA for 15 wins and seven placings before continuing his career in America. Chaangerr’s elder half-brother Chokin was a champion pacer, who was retired with earnings of $1,801,685 from 34 wins and 11 placings from 59 starts.
Our Star Billing was the $1.10 favourite from the No. 1 barrier in the 21309m Allwood Stud Farm Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and was driven with great confidence by Byford trainer Donald Harper.
Our Star Billing was untroubled to set the pace and win by almost a length from stablemate Star For Me, rating 1.59.9. This improved her record to 25 starts for four wins, six placings and $50,589 in stakes. She has also amassed many tens of thousands of dollars in Westbred bonuses.
“It worked out good,” said Harper. “It looked her race on paper, and there was no point going quicker than we had to in the early stages (40.2sec. lead time and 32.1sec. for the opening quarter of the final mile).
“There was no point in burning time when you don’t have to. You have to think about the longevity of the horse as well. She got to the line really strongly (with final sections of 28.4sec. and 27.4sec.). She pulled up good and her heart rate was good.
“Our Star Billing will continue to race, and she is not just a frontrunner. She can come from behind and is capable of peeling off a 55sec. quarter.
“She has come a really long way from her first preparation to her second preparation, and to this current preparation. You can see the improvement in her every time she races.”