Another stellar day for Zoustar

zoustar-paddockFor high-quality stallion Zoustar, there seems to be something about the straight sprints at Flemington with his progeny excelling in another Group 1 feature down the famous straight.

The son of Northern Meteor won the stallion-making G1 Coolmore Stud S. himself as a 3-year-old, and his first Group 1 triumph as a sire came when Sunlight, Zousain and Lean Mean Machine filled the trifecta in the same famous race five years later.

On Saturday, over the same course and 1200-metre distance, Zoustar sired his second individual Group 1 winner and, remarkably, his second Group 1 quinella. Zoutori carried the 57-kilogram topweight to a superb victory in the time-honoured Newmarket H., with the front-running Indian Pacific a close second in a desperate finish.

The Newmarket capped a treble of big victories on the day for Zoustar, who also won the G2 VRC Sires’ Produce S. earlier on the Flemington card with Lightsaber, while Glistening captured the G2 Reisling S. at Randwick. Debutant Solar Winds almost added another, going down by 0.2l in the G3 Black Opal S. on Sunday.

“It was another pretty amazing day for Zoustar on Saturday,” Widden Stud owner, Antony Thompson, told TDN AusNZ.

“We’ve always thought that the biggest day of his stud career was at Flemington a few years ago, when he sired the trifecta in the Coolmore with his first crop of 3-year-olds. He really announced himself that day, and that was certainly a very special moment in his stallion career. But in some ways, what he did yesterday had quite a similar feel to it.

Capitalist’s Kalashnikov enters Slipper foray with Black Opal success

kalashnikovKalashnikov (2 c Capitalist - Rough Ride by Flying Spur) is the latest Capitalist (Written Tycoon) colt to throw his hat into the Golden Slipper (Gr 1, 1200m) ring after he battled to a hard-fought victory in the Black Opal Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) at Canberra yesterday.

Trained by Paul and Peter Snowden, Kalashnikov followed up an impressive maiden win at Gosford last month with a head success over Solar Winds (Zoustar) in the Group 3 contest to become Capitalist’s third individual stakes winner and in turn strengthen his promising position in Golden Slipper and place atop the first season sire table.

The Newgate stallion will likely be represented by pre-race favourite Profiteer and the Skyline Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m)-placed Captivant in the $3.5 million March 20 feature, which Capitalist won in 2016.

Paul Snowden believes Kalashnikov has every right to join the party after yesterday’s win.

“He was always going to get the run of the race today and obviously James (McDonald) adds another dimension to it,” Snowden said.

“As long as he comes through it well, there is no reason not to line up (in the Golden Slipper). He deserves a spot now.”

Settled in prime position behind early leader Rocket Tiger (Cluster), Kalashnikov saved ground along the rail before moving off heels into the clear at the 300-metre mark.

Stunning day for Widden Stud’s Zoustar

2hj61utjx-zoutoriWidden Stud resident Zoustar had a day to remember at Flemington highlighted by his sons Zoutori and Indian Pacific dominating the finish of the G1 Newmarket H., and his juveniles delivering top performances in Sydney and Melbourne.

A dual Group 1 winner himself, Zoustar enjoyed a magical day with Zoutori claiming top honours in the G1 Seppelt Wines Newmarket H. at the expense of Indian Pacific and another son Lightsaber had earlier landed the G2 MSS Security Sires’ Produce S.

Lightsaber’s trainer Peter Moody is now considering a trip to Sydney for the G1 Golden Slipper S. and a race on the program for Zoustar’s daughter Glistening, who booked her spot for trainers Richard and Michael Freedman following her front-running victory in the G2 Yarraman Park Reisling S.

Zoutori, who was fourth in the Newmarket 12 months ago, left his rivals with no excuses after he gave weight and a beating to hand trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra one of the most satisfying wins of their training careers.

“It’s just great and I don’t usually get too nervous pre-race, but I was a little bit toey today. He had come on really well since the Oakleigh Plate,” Ellerton said.

Dunmore's Niall Power (1959-2021) An Adopted Australian of Charm and Gentle Manner

NiallPower-278x300DUNMORE East native Niall Power, whose skills in the thoroughbred industry took him from Coolmore Stud all the way to Australia, died on Saturday last, February 20 following a battle with cancer. He was 61 years old.

Born in Waterford on March 17, 1959, Niall’s parents, Kathleen and Stanley, were the proprietors of the popular Ocean Hotel in Dunmore. Niall could actually ride a horse before he could walk, offering an early indication of where his future lay.

Sibling to Stan and Joyce and educated at Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare, Niall’s professional association with the thoroughbred industry began at the famed Coolmore Stud outside Fethard in South Tipperary, where he worked as Stud Manager.

As a 19-year-old, Niall enjoyed a working holiday in Australia, not knowing the extent that the continent would play in the rewarding years that lay ahead.

Ultimately, Niall, his wife Imelda – a nurse from Tipperary – and son Robert, then aged one, switched hemispheres, departing Ireland for Australia, where he was appointed Stud Manager at Brian Agnew’s Wakefield Stud in 1987.

Five years later, the Power family, by then also including daughter Lisa, returned to Ireland before ultimately and permanently returning to Australia in 1997.

Since 2012, Niall had worked as Australian Racing Manager of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing (HTR), a successful international operation which offers shares in racehorses they put together to form racing syndicates.

In addition, Niall was Director of Sire Custodians Ltd, “the leading supplier of syndicate documentation and management consultancy services to the Australian thoroughbred industry”.

As his biography on the Highclere website notes, Niall operated “his own IT Company with a thoroughbred industry focus…Sire Custodians Ltd is the leading supplier of syndicate documentation and management consultancy services to the Australian thoroughbred industry. Niall is the Authorised Representative for Xcira in Australia, the Global Leader in Live & Timed Auction Technologies.

Historic Widden Stud takes over Sun Stud’s Victorian operation

Antony Thompson says to survive in an increasingly global thoroughbred breeding industry, stud farms need to get bigger to compete, a realisation which led to his decision to take on a Victorian holding with his family’s famed Widden Stud, Australia’s oldest thoroughbred farm.

Widden principal Thompson yesterday confirmed the 154-year-old NSW stud, founded in 1867 and home to champion stallions throughout its long and rich history, will embark on a bold new challenge by taking over the Sun Stud operation, encompassing the eight-strong stallion roster at the Riddells Creek property.

As inspections get underway for the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, the announcement of Widden’s move comes at a time when the Victorian breeding industry undergoes a significant shake-up, with Sun Stud’s decision to shut up shop following that of Aquis Farm exiting the state, leaving Leneva Park to fill the void by taking over the Seymour-based stallion business.

“If you tread water eventually you will drown, so it is a bit about the horse business around the world, you get bigger or you will go backwards, so I think it is a really good fit and the things we do we can replicate in Victoria,” seventh generation Thompson told ANZ Bloodstock News late yesterday.

“It is something we have been looking at for a while and we had discussed expanding our brand and adding to our business. It is not something that has been opportunistic.

“When the opportunity presented with Aquis getting out of Victoria and Sun Stud and Woodside, to a degree, getting out of the stallion business, we thought if ever there was a chance to do it, there is no better time than now.”

In a move aimed at bolstering Widden’s presence in Victoria, its Group 1-producing sires Nicconi (Bianconi) and Star Witness (Starcraft) will relocate from NSW, joining Sun Stud’s existing roster of Magnus (Flying Spur), Fiorente (Monsun), Palentino (Teofilo), shuttler National Defense (Invincible Spirit), Ready For Victory (More Than Ready), Squamosa (Not A Single Doubt), Thronum (Snitzel) and veteran Bel Esprit (Royal Academy).

“We are going to look to add some nice young horses down there as well, but I think the marketplace, speaking to the breeders, is crying out for some good proven stallions and certainly Nicconi, Magnus and Star Witness are three top-notch proven sires in Victoria,” Thompson said.

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