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.

“The Newmarket was a fantastic race. Obviously Indian Pacific was out in front and making the running, so at first we were focussed on him and really hoping that he could keep going and hold on. But then along came Zoutori, producing an outstanding finish under his big weight, and we were all really excited to watch him make that winning move. Running one-two in such a historic race was a terrific result.

“He certainly seems to have a real affinity with the straight six at Flemington. That’s been a hallmark of the whole sire line – his sire Northern Meteor as well, and Encosta De Lago before him. Zoustar himself won the Coolmore down that straight at Flemington. There’s definitely something about it, and it’s something about the types of horses that he leaves. His progeny seem to be so well suited there.

“As well as the Newmarket, it was great to see him sire those two Group 2 winners with his 2-year-olds earlier in the afternoon too – one a colt and one a filly. They both won their races very well, and they look to have bright futures ahead of them.”

The Newmarket hero Zoutori was a $160,000 purchase by Ellerton Zahra Racing at the 2017 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, where he was offered by Amarina Farm. Trained by Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra and carrying the colours of Pinecliff Racing, Zoutori has now had 26 starts for eight wins, six placings and more than $1.7 million in stakes.

Zoustar’s big day almost got even bigger in the G1 Canterbury S. at Randwick, where Mizzy’s big late run came up short of catching Savatiano (Street Cry {Ire}) by an agonising short half head.

“After the incredible day Zoustar had already had, there was plenty of excitement for us when Mizzy did what she did at Randwick,” Thompson said. “There was a fair bit of noise in the room when she came out of the pack with that big late run. She came up just short in the end, but we can’t really complain about the day that Zoustar had.”

Having entered stud in Australia in 2014, Zoustar is now the sire of 201 winners from 300 runners. He has been represented by 20 individual stakes winners, with the Group 1 pair of Sunlight and Zoutori supported by the Group 2 winners Madam Rouge, Mizzy, Haut Brion Her, Lean Mean Machine, Lightsaber, Zousain and Glistening.

The clear headline act on the 10-horse Widden NSW stallion roster, Zoustar commanded a service fee of $121,000 (inc GST) in 2020 and served another big book of 161 mares. He has now served a total of 1301 mares across his seven seasons at stud in Australia.

Back to the northern hemisphere

Zoustar has now returned to Tweenhills Farm and Stud in England, where he has been shuttling annually since 2019. He will command a service fee of £25,000 (AU$49,989) this season.

“He’s back up in the UK now, back with David Redvers at Tweenhills,” Thompson said.

“Everything’s going really well for him up there. I spoke with David last night – Saturday morning his time – and he sent me a picture of Zoustar in his paddock. The horse looked extremely well.

“He’s starting his third book of mares in the north this year, and he’s been very well supported up there so far. We’re very excited about the next chapter in his career, and hoping that he might be able to continue in the north the way he’s been going in our part of the world.”

Zoustar covered 149 mares in his first northern hemisphere book in 2019, followed by another 124 last year.

His first crop of northern hemisphere weanlings went through sale rings last year, where seven of his progeny sold for £80,000 (AU$144,035) or more.

The highest price was £150,000 (AU$270,066), paid by Paca Paca Farm to buy a colt out of high-class mare La Collina (Ire) (Strategic Prince) from the draft of Kenilworth House Stud.

La Collina won the G1 Matron S. and Phoenix S. in Ireland, is half-sister to two other stakes winners and is also the dam of two winners from three foals to race.

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