Golden Rose winning three-year-old Zoustar will lead a quality field of fellow youngsters in the 2013 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington Racecourse this weekend.
Won 12 months ago by John Thompson’s filly Nechita, this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) has drawn a final field of 11 hopefuls.
Betting on the Coolmore Stud Stakes is sure to be led by Chris Waller’s flying Northern Meteor colt Zoustar who shoots for win number three on the trot.
Boasting an ultra-consistent record of five wins from seven starts to date, Zoustar enjoyed their maiden Group 1 success at Rosehill in mid-September when taking out the $1 million Gold Rose (1400m).
It was a deserved win and one that atoned for their close call when runner-up to Romantic Touch in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) on the back of a BRC Sires Produce victory in Brisbane during the winter carnival.
Zoustar then backed up from their Rose triumph, dropping back down to 1200m, to charge home and beat Barbed by four and a half lengths in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes at Randwick on October 5.
Convinced he’s got a sprint star on his hands, Waller announced then they would be kept to the distance and attempt another elite level trophy in the Melbourne Cup Carnival’s Coolmore Stud Stakes where Jim Cassidy will retain the ride.
Convincing Waller he was ready to fire on Saturday, Zoustar flashed home in a track gallop this week producing one of his best pieces of work his trainer has seen him do.
“It was close to the best work, if not the best work, I’ve seen from him,” Waller told AAP.
Already rumoured to be worth in excess of $20 million as a serious stallion prospect, Waller is tipping them to add to that value with a Derby Day triumph.
“I think he’ll be worth more money on Saturday afternoon,” he said.
The only downside to Zoustar’s bid is their wide barrier 10 draw.
One of Zoustar’s biggest dangers in the Coolmore Stud Stakes field on Saturday then looks to be the Gai Waterhouse-trained Divine Calling (barrier three).
The Stratum gelding won back-to-back Moonee Valley races in September, including the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) beating subsequent Cox Plate winner Shamus Award.
They then travelled to Caulfield on October 12 and were far from disgraced when second to Long John in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m), Saturday’s true test being how they handle the shorter 1200m sprint down the Flemington straight.
Peter Snowden, trainer of Caulfield Guineas winner Long John, meanwhile will saddle-up his Golden Rose fourth placed Sidestep who has come up trumps with the inside alley.
He opted not to accept for multiple stakes winning Exceed And Excel colt Safeguard, who last ran second behind Lion Of Belfort in the Blue Sapphire on Guineas Day, however.
Looking for back-to-back Coolmore Stud Stakes wins for the ladies are then three fillies, most notably the Liam Birchley-trained Missy Longstocking in gate six.
A talented daughter of Sequalo, the Brisbane-based filly has won four of her past five starts and is looking to keep the magic going at Flemington on the weekend.
This time in she won first-up at Eagle Farm over 1000m before strutting her stuff at Caulfield three weeks back to score an easy win in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m) to earn her spot in Saturday’s showdown.
Thompson will also be after his second Coolmore Stud Stakes victory in as many years saddling up Thump, Craig Williams to ride the in-form daughter of Red Ransom from the far outside gate.
Thump broke her maiden status at Warwick Farm in August winning the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m).
She then backed up when third to Bound For Earth in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) before her nice Moonee Valley win back on September 27 defeating Blue Diamond Stakes winner Miracles Of Life in the Group 3 Champagne Stakes (1200m).
The last of the fillies in the mix is then Shaun Dwyer’s Villa Verde who will be ridden by Hugh Bowman as she looks to improve on a last start fourth in the Blue Sapphire.
Other top chances in the Coolmore Stud Stakes field this year then include Mick Price’s Blue Sapphire winner Lion Of Belfort, Peter Moody’s last start Red Anchor Stakes winner Thermal Current and the progressive Not Listenin’tome lining up for just their fourth start.
See below for the full Coolmore Stud Stakes 2013 field, barriers out soon and betting on the Derby Day classic to open at our preferred online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au shortly.
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2013 Coolmore Stud Stakes Final Field
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1112×411||ZOUSTAR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||10||56.5kg||106|
|3||42255×2107||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||David Hayes||Brett Prebble||7||56.5kg||90|
|4||2142×5112||DIVINE CALLING||Gai Waterhouse||Glen Boss||3||56.5kg||100|
|5||2111||LION OF BELFORT||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||4||56.5kg||89|
|6||1×1310||ECLAIR BIG BANG (NZ)||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||2||56.5kg||90|
|7||23×21371||THERMAL CURRENT||Peter G Moody||Brad Rawiller||8||56.5kg||84|
|8||112||NOT LISTENIN’TOME||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||5||56.5kg||74|
|9||13x4191x11||MISSY LONGSTOCKING||Liam Birchley||Damian Browne||6||54.5kg||94|
|10||11x270x24||VILLA VERDE||Shaun Dwyer||Hugh Bowman||9||54.5kg||82|
|11||x77260x131||THUMP||John P Thompson||Craig Williams||11||54.5kg||92|