Coolmore Stud’s decision to buy Starspangledbanner was vindicated at Caulfield on Saturday when the Choisir colt defied running down in the G1 Oakleigh Plate.
Coolmore paid a reported $10 million for Starspangledbanner last month and that deal looks a great investment after yesterday’s result. It will be an even bigger bargain if he wins the G1 Newmarket Handicap and then emulates Choisir’s deeds at Royal Ascot in June.
“He is a valuable stallion prospect for the future,” Coolmore’s Australia general manager Michael Kirwan predicted. “He has a terrific pedigree and will be a great addition to our team.”
Starspangledbanner (3c Choisir – Anthem by Made of Gold) became the first G1 winner for Choisir when he scored a brilliant all-the-way victory the Caulfield Guineas in October. The Coolmore stallion has been shuttling between Ireland and Australia since winning the King’s Stand Stakes and Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2003.
Starspangledbanner was bred by Tony Santic’s Makybe operation and sold for $120,000 at the 2008 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale. Santic kept a share with managing part-owner Brad Spicer and a whole host of syndicate members.
The colt is out of Gold Anthem who was a stakes -placed winner in Adelaide. Second dam National Song (Vain) is a half-sister to Circles Of Gold, the dam of Elvstroem and Haradasun.
Trainer Leon Corstens was overwhelmed amid wild scenes after the Oakleigh Plate. “He’s done a fantastic job,” Corstens said. “And it’s great to do this for Coolmore and the owners.”
The powerful looking chestnut has built up an 11-6-1-1 record with over $1.3 million in prizemoney. He started racing on a winning note in the Inglis Juvenile at Moonee Valley in October 2008 and returned at three for Listed victories in the Vain Stakes (1100m) and H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in August.
His spring grand final was in the G1 Caulfield Guineas and he spaced them over 1600m with Manhattan Rain, Denman, So You Think and Trusting among the beaten division.
Starspangledbanner will now head for the G1 Newmarket Handicap before Corstens hands him over to Aidan O’Brien.
The Kyneton trainer sounded a warning for the colt’s Newmarket Handicap rivals as Dan Nikolic brought the winner back to scale at Caulfield. “There’s still improvement in him,” Corstens claimed. “We will see an even better horse in the Newmarket!”