Widden Stud's exciting young sire Zoustar always looked to have a strong hand in the Group I VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday with three top chances and they delivered the dream result with a sensational win for Sunlight, the lone filly in the field over Zousain and Lean Mean Machine.
Winner of the Magic Millions 2YO Classic, the Tony McEvoy trained filly was dominant over the colts last season so it wasn't the hardest choice for him to allow Sunlight to take her chance against the colts in this elite sprint worth $1million.
A touch slowly away in the Group I MVRC Manikato Stakes at her previous run when finishing an unlucky seventh, Sunlight bounced back to her brilliant best with regular rider Luke Currie back in the saddle and jumped fast to track the leader Written By as they motored up the straight.
She was strong to the line, seeing off Written By and then holding off challenges from Zousain and Lean Mean Machine to win by half a neck taking her record to eight wins from 12 starts with prizemoney topping $3million.
"She had no favours last start when stepped away slowly and was in an awkward place, but today she flew out," said Luke Currie.
"She was on the buckle all the way and spent no petrol so was strong to the line."
A $300,000 Magic Millions purchase for Aquis/McEvoy Mitchell Racing/Blue Sky Bstock from the Widden Stud draft, Sunlight was bred in partnership by Widden Stud, whose Katie Thompson also shares in her ownership.
Widden Stud had the dream result having a Group I trifecta for the sire they stand and also sharing in the ownership of runner-up Zousain, who will eventually retire to stand at Widden.
Aquis Farm also shared in the joy being part-owners of Sunlight and also third place-getter Lean Mean Machine.
"Wow, what can I say!" said Tony McEvoy.
"It was a big call to take on the colts, but I always had faith in her. She's a courageous superstar. She was better than the colts as a two year-old and they get the nice 2kg pull off them in the weights."
Sunlight is a half-sister to Group III placed Sheikha and is the third winner from former speedy filly Solar Charged, winner of the Group III ATC Kindergarten Stakes at her second start.
Solar Charged has a two year-old full sister to Sunlight who was knocked down to McEvoy Mitchell Racing/David Redvers Bloodstock for $600,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and is named Sisstar. She has trialled impressively and is set to make her debut in the Group III VRC Bumble Stakes at Flemington next Tuesday.
Solar Charged has a yearling Sebring colt and has foaled this spring producing a full brother to Sunlight pictured below at Widden Stud.
Sunlight is the first Group I winner for Zoustar, whose sire Northern Meteor won the Group I VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes in 2013 and his sire Encosta de Lago won the race in its previous incarnation when it was the Group II VRC Ascot Vale Stakes.
The race was a total triumph for Zoustar, who also covered the dam of fourth placed colt Written By this spring!
The reigning Champion First Season Sire, Zoustar stands at a fee of $60,500 and that is looking like an absolute bargain with the benefit of hindsight.