Soccer fans would have cashed in when Gianfranco won the Warrawong Maiden Hcp (1400m) at Kembla Grange on Saturday.
The Starcraft gelding is trained by Gai Waterhouse and he scored on debut just minutes after stablemate Pierro clinched the G1 Golden Slipper at Rosehill.
Gianfranco (3g Starcraft – Zola by Volksraad) is a homebred for Paul Makin and he is named after soccer star Gianfranco Zola. The former Italian international, who has managed Chelsea and West Ham, is expected in Australia this week to take over as the gaffer at Melbourne Victory.
His dam Zola was a top-drawer filly winning at G1 level in the 1998 Ellerslie Sires’ Produce Stakes for trainer Dave O’Sullivan. She arrived in Australia the following spring and finished an excellent second to Sunline in the G2 Tea Rose Stakes at Rosehill, albeit four lengths behind the mighty one.
The Gianfranco result was a milestone for Starcraft. He has now sired 100 individual winners and they have won 195 races worldwide. The Arrowfield resident has been credited with a trio of stakes winning three year-olds this season – Hallowell Belle, Celebrity Girl and Perfect Punch.
Starcraft has 9 yearlings in the 2012 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale this week including three fillies and a colt in the Arrowfield draft.