Rosemont Stud shuttler Starspangledbanner sired his first winner in England on Saturday.
Moonraker (2c Starspangledbanner – Licence To Thrill by Wolfhound) moved him off the mark in the Play The Tote Today Maiden (1000m) at Ascot. He challenged the leaders at the 400m pole and was ridden right out by prevail by a neck and a head on debut.
The Mick Channon-trained colt is raced Christopher Wright and Emily Asprey and, in winning, maintained his dam’s perfect record at stud. Licence To Thrill now has 9 to the races for 9 winners!
Starspangledbanner (Choisir) was a champion sprinter in both hemispheres, however, he experienced fertility problems after retiring to Coolmore Stud in 2011.
Put back into work with Aidan O’Brien, he failed to recapture form and was re-routed to Rosemont Stud having been foaled and raised at the Gnarwarre property when it was part of the Makybe complex.
While Starspangledbanner lacked numbers on the ground from his dual books at Coolmore Stud, those that were catalogued for the yearling sales made good money.
In England, they fetched a high of 110,000 guineas (AUD 207,775) in 2013 and, in Australia, they averaged $127,500 at the 2014 Gold Coast Magic Millions.
Rosemont owner Anthony Mithen took a calculated gamble to give Starspangledbanner a realistic, if restricted, future at stud. “Our vet has put so much time into this project,” Mithen said. “It’s been a massive effort by everyone here at Rosemont and it was pleasing to see his fertility improve in 2013.”