Chris Waller’s top three-year-old Zoustar proved the star once again today when succeeding in their Melbourne debut to win the 2013 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington Racecourse and hand their Hall of Fame hoop Jim Cassidy with his 100thGroup 1 win.
Zoustar’s victory in the $500,000 Group 1 Coomore Stud Stakes (1200m) was also the Northern Meteor colt’s second Group 1 win from eight career starts adding to their Golden Rose victory over 1400m in Sydney back in September.
It also allowed the horse to continue on with the legend of their ill-fated father Northern Meteor who won the Coolmore back in 2008 before going onto become one of the great sires of recent history.
And it allowed the legend on veteran hoop Cassidy to grow as he made it a century of elite levels today.
“Magnificent to be in a group with Roy Higgins and George Moore,” Waller said.
“To all the owners and trainers that have supported me, I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
“And Waller…I can’t thank him enough.”
Waller’s decision not to step Zoustar back up to the mile again, despite them having run second over the distance as a juvenile in the Group 1 JJ Atkins in Brisbane during the winter, proved a well thought out plan today.
Instead he gave them an easy kill in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes back over 1200m at Randwick a month ago, which they won by four and a half lengths, before their first run in Victoria for the Coolmore.
They were the deepest runner from the jump and forced to do it tough down the straight.
A true professional despite their young age, Zoustar was the widest throughout with Cassidy calling on them approaching the final 200m.
The champ chewed it up and powered down the ‘straight-six’ pulling out a scintillating late burst after hitting top gear to run down the leader Sidestep who was all out and fading to win running away.
On the line the $2 favourite, who looked in danger of not liking the straight before flattening ut and stretching his neck to prove his star status, had a full two lengths to spare over an also fast-finishing, Hawkes-trained Not Listenin’tome ($11) who was having just their fourth career start.
Finishing off the winning Coolmore Stud Stakes trifecta in third was then another young up-and-comer Lion Of Belfort ($15) ridden by the country’s second most successful Group 1 jockey Damien Oliver who sits on 97 elite level victories.
“Look I travelled like a machine,” Cassidy said.
“Normally you don’t expose them that early but he went up the straight like a machine today.
“He’s got one hell of an engine this bloke.”
Zoustar has now won six of their eight runs, the Coolmore Stud Stakes winners’ $300,000 cheque plus the incredible $4 million stud-deal bonus boosting their earnings to $5.4 million.
Effectively no horse in Australian racing history has won more money in a single performance.
All week there had been enormous pressure on both the trainer and the horse leading up to this stallion making race.
Both however handled it well and got the job done today.
“Relief,” Waller said post-win.
“Put the money aside, he’s got the crown of being the best three-year-old in the country and he’s defended that up the straight.
“You’ve got no idea how many things go on with it [the stud deal].
“To the horse’s credit he’s dealt with it all, he’s had vet examinations and all of his stallion parts examined and he hasn’t battered an eye lid.
“He’s the most professional horse on track, looks, speed, he’s a superstar.”
Waller was also quick to give credit to the masterful riding of Cassidy.
“Well done to Jimmy,” he said.
“It’s hard to take the moment away from Jimmy, he’s been a big help to me.
“I feel very privileged to be part of his career.”
Worth in excess of $20 million at stud, Waller and connections are planning to hold on to Zoustar for now and continue racing them for at least another season with Royal Ascot 2014 calling.
“I think this race is a great test for (Royal) Ascot, or any of the tough European tracks, where you need to run up the straight and need to be strong,” Waller said of the Coolmore when speaking to The Daily Telegraph this week.
“Obviously it is every trainer, jockey and owner’s dream to get over there and if we get our chance next year I would be willing to take Zoustar.
“I guess he is the best young horse I have trained, he is certainly the most valuable at this stage of his career and he looks untapped.”
Right now though there’s plenty more elite level racing action to enjoy for Derby Day, including the day’s feature race running as Race 6 with Ladbrokes.com.au offering DOUBLE the Victoria Derby fixed win odds to celebrate!
2013 Coolmore Stud Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 4 – 02/11/2013
|1||1||ZOUSTAR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||–||10||56.5kg||$2F|
|2||8||NOT LISTENIN’TOME||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||2L||5||56.5kg||$11|
|3||5||LION OF BELFORT||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||2.2L||4||56.5kg||$15|
|4||10||VILLA VERDE||Shaun Dwyer||Hugh Bowman||2.7L||9||54.5kg||$26|
|5||7||THERMAL CURRENT||Peter G Moody||Brad Rawiller||2.9L||8||56.5kg||$19|
|6||2||SIDESTEP||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||3L||1||56.5kg||$21|
|7||11||THUMP||John P Thompson||Craig Williams||4L||11||54.5kg||$12|
|8||6||ECLAIR BIG BANG (NZ)||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||4.75L||2||56.5kg||$31|
|9||9||MISSY LONGSTOCKING||Liam Birchley||Damian Browne||6.75L||6||54.5kg||$9.50|
|10||4||DIVINE CALLING||Gai Waterhouse||Glen Boss||7.25L||3||56.5kg||$15|
|11||3||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||David Hayes||Brett Prebble||8.25L||7||56.5kg||$26|