Zoustar justifies stud deal at Flemington

Zoustar vindicated a reported $14 million stud deal with a dominant victory in the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Widden Stud purchased Zoustar to replace his sire Northern Meteor who died earlier this year.  Under the terms of the deal, the Coolmore win earned his managing part-owner Sheriff Iskander an additional $4 million.  There’s another $2 million bonus if he can claim another Group 1 this season.

The Chris Waller trained colt cruised to a two length victory over Not Listenin’tome (Dylan Thomas) and Lion Of Belfort (Statue Of Liberty) as the even-money favourite.  “The slow early pace was frustrating but I knew the horse under me,” jockey Jim Cassidy said.  “I had nothing to cart me into the race and was just swinging off him.”

Zoustar (3c Northern Meteor – Zouzou by Redoute’s Choice) was sold twice as a youngster by Magic Millions.  He was bred by Kevin Dixon’s Racetree in Queensland and sold through the Racetree draft to KP Thoroughbreds for $85,000 at the 2011 National Weanling Sale.

He was pin-hooked by Kulani Park and sold to Iskander Racing for $140,000 at the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale.

The Coolmore Stud Stakes was his second at Group 1 level following the Golden Rose in August and it was Cassidy’s 100th Group 1 triumph.  “ I’ve never been so relieved to win a Group 1 race in my life,” he said.  “His balls were on the line and so were mine.”

Waller predicted Zoustar will be even better in the autumn.  “He’s not quite there yet and he didn’t get any cover today which didn’t help,” he said.  “Royal Ascot is the goal next year.  It’s a dream but we’ve got a realistic chance.”

– Karl Patterson