Widden 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.
Zoutori had finished seventh when resuming at Caulfield and Ellerton’s only concern was barrier four, but that was overcome by a masterful ride from Luke Currie.
“Luke gave him a great steer and he’s a good, tough and honest sprinter who is a dual Group 2 winner and now a Group 1 winner,” Ellerton said.
“He’s got a great CV, especially on the straight. This is a race on our doorstep and it’s a time-honoured race and we’re just so chuffed to win this race.”
Zoutori has now won eight of his 28 starts and a further 10 top four finishes emhasises his consistency.
“He was a bit of a lad as a younger horse when he was a colt and hard to handle so he was quickly a gelding. We took him to Brisbane as a 3-year-old, but I don’t think he travels well,” Ellerton said.
“We took him to Adelaide last year and he did nothing, I think he’s a bit of a sulk when he’s away but his record here down the straight is exceptional.”
The Newmarket field split into two divisions early before runners merged inside the closing 200 metres and Indian Pacific, who led on the inside, fought on strongly for second behind Zoutori with the 3-year-olds Amish Boy (Star Witness) third ahead of Prague (Redoute’s Choice).
“It all panned out well for us and we got on the back of the speed toward the inside and a part of the track where I was happy to be,” successful jockey Luke Currie said.
“Going into the race it looked the horses to beat were in the middle to outside so we had to do it a bit on our own. The Perth horse (Indian Pacific) gave him a good bunny to chase and he was too good and gave me a pretty easy ride.
“Full credit to Mathew and Simon and their team, it was a great effort by them all.
"I’ve had a great season off the back of a fall last year and having quite some time off, I was lucky enough to pick up a couple of good ones in the spring.”
They included the G1 Blue Diamond S. with the Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained Artorius (Flying Artie).
“I had a bit of a rest after the spring and didn’t ride too much and that helped the body a lot. It’s been a great autumn so far,” Currie said.