Chris Waller’s star young sprinter Zoustar is already the horse to beat at nomination stage for Saturday’s Coolmore Stud Stakes 2013, the other three-year-olds’ feature of Victoria Derby Day at Flemington.
One of four Group 1 Derby Day features this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) has attracted just 15 nominations with the talented Zoustar scaring off any more rivals.
Winner of the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in mid-September from barrier 16 of 16, the Northern Meteor colt backed up at Randwick on October 5 with an all-too-easy 4.5 length win over Barbed in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m).
To be kept for the sprint features, Zoustar didn’t travel to Melbourne for the Caulfield Guineas earlier this month but will be there on the weekend shooting for their second elite level in the Coolmore.
There’s a host of other last start winners out to lower Zoustar’s flag in the classic too, including Liam Birchley’s Queensland filly Missy Longstocking.
Due to be ridden by her Brisbane-based hoop Damian Browne, the Sequalo filly won back-to-back Eagle Farm races in June and then September before traveling interstate to take out the $150,000 Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m) on October 12 at Caulfield.
The other last-start winners among the Coolmore Stud Stakes nominations are then the John Thompson-trained Group 3 Champagne Stakes champ at Moonee Valley over Miracles Of Life Thump, Blue Sapphire Stakes winner Lion Of Belfort after their fourth win from five career starts and Red Anchor Stakes winner form last Saturday Thermal Current for Peter Moody.
Other notable entries with genuine claims then include Gai Waterhouse’s Caulfield Guineas runner-up Divine Calling dropping back in distance, Fast ‘N’ Rocking and Éclair Big Bang looking to atone for their dead last in the Guineas over a mile.
Peter Snowden meanwhile could be dually represented in the race having nominated for both Golden Rose fourth placed Sidestep and Blue Sapphire runner-up Safeguard as he shoots for another win to add to that of Sepoy’s back in 2011.
Exceed And Excel colt Sidestep has been freshened up since the Golden Rose, the Pago Pago Stakes winner having also run a Group 1 second to Overreach in the Golden Slipper as a two-year-old back in April, and Snowden is confident the Coolmore will suit.
“He had two weeks out at the farm after his last start and the freshen-up has just done him the world of good,” Snowden told AAP.
“He looks a million dollars.
“It looks a nice race for him. All we need is some good luck, and no bad luck.”
See below for the full Coolmore Stud Stakes 2013 nominations, acceptances due out on Wednesday.
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2013 Coolmore Stud Stakes Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 02/11/2013
|1||DIVINE CALLING||Gai Waterhouse||100|
|2||ECLAIR BIG BANG (NZ)||Phillip Stokes||90|
|3||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||David Hayes||90|
|4||FLAK JACKET||Grahame Begg||66|
|5||LION OF BELFORT||Mick Price||89|
|6||MISSY LONGSTOCKING||Liam Birchley||94|
|7||NOT LISTENIN’TOME||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||73|
|11||THERMAL CURRENT||Peter G Moody||82|
|12||THUMP||John P Thompson||92|
|13||VILLA VERDE||Shaun Dwyer||82|