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Red Carpet out for Zoustar

With the five days of Royal Ascot done and dusted, the way is paved for the emergence of the exciting stallion Zoustar.

Sitting quietly in a London hotel, just before the start of the first race at Royal Ascot and the four days to follow, this excites David Redvers, but nothing compares to the prospect of welcoming one of Australia’s most exciting young stallions to Britain for 2019.

Zoustar is set to be crowned Australia’s champion first season sire, he will shuttle to stand at Tweenhills Stud next year and that represents much hard work and preparation, but could hardly be more exciting.

In a press release last week, circulated with the announcement, Redvers described the opportunity to stand the son of Northern Meteor in Britain as, “the most exciting deal I have been involved with in my career.“.

Zoustar will cover mares to Northern Hemisphere time in the beginning in March of next year atTweenhills Stud, and return to Widden Stud in plenty of time for the 2019 Southern Hemisphere season, commencing in September.

Zoustar March 2018 MobileZoustar to Shuttle to Tweenhills Stud


Decision time for Merchant Navy

Whether Merchant Navy runs in the July Cup, at Newmarket, is yet to be decided after his narrow win in the Golden Jubilee Stakes, or returns to Australia and rest on his laurels.

Whether he needs another race to convince the British breeders is doubtful, they may have seen enough, he would be on the wish list, for sure, to shuttle to the United Kingdom in a season or two.

It was rumoured, in sale ring circles, that Merchant Navy was syndicated for $27 million dollars, but that has not been fully confirmed by the current ownership of the horse, they are playing their cards close to their chest.

The Golden Jubilee Stakes, a most important race on the calendar, however, the horses for some reason lacked exposure, a touch of colour and a post parade could have been included, a bit of razzmatazz goes a long way.

Merchant Navy broke well from the gate and travelled nicely in running, he had a full head of steam when it was required.

It was a great ride by Ryan Moore, he timed his run to the letter, he must be recognised as the very best jockey in the world.

Redkirk Warrior looked a picture of fitness as he cantered down to the start, however, he was never a threat at any stage of the race, and was well beaten, finishing second last.

Being a gelding, he most likely will remain in England and race there, whereas Merchant Navy will return to Coolmore Stud in the Hunter Valley and stand as a sire there, where he is fully booked.

Merchant Navy 030 Jack MobileMerchant Navy - Winning at Caulfield


When Champions Meet

Annie Power, the brilliant hurdler who became the first mare in 22 years to win the Champion Hurdle in 2016, has been purchased by Coolmore, and is in foal to the perennial champion sire, Galileo, whose tally of top flight performers stands at 71.

The mare was sent to Camelot last year, by owner Rich Ricci, but obviously slipped, as a part of the deal Ricci will retain a share in the resulting Galileo foal.

Trained by Willie Mullins, Annie Power won 15 of her 17 races, including five Grade 1 hurdle races, an indication of her popularity among the racing public, she was sent out favourite 16 times.


James McDonald rearin to go

James McDonald is leaving no stone unturned in his quest on the comeback trail at Royal Ascot today.

This is catch up time for McDonald, since he was banned from riding for 18 months on betting charges whilst retained by Godolphin.

With that behind him he is rearing, he will have his first ride back at Windsor today on the James Tate’s trained Implicit

On his last summer stint in Britain, McDonald rode 19 winners, including Dutch Connection in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood, for Charlie Hills, that was two years ago, it would come as no surprise if he was offered a retainer to settle in Britain.

Once Rae Johnstone, and Edgar Britt, got a taste for European racing, and the Orient, they never returned to riding in Australia.

Zoustar to shuttle to U K

Leading first season sire, Zoustar, will shuttle to the UK in 2019, he is leading first sire by a good margin with $3,075,869, with nearest rival, Spirit of Boom, on $1,816, 020, he is home and hosed, he is an exceptional thoroughbred, a high quality stallion that is leaving nice horses, and they all can gallop.  

Among his 6 wins were the Golden Rose Group 1 at Rosehill, over 1400 metres, and the Ascot Vale Stakes Group1, over 1200 metres at Flemington

Zoustar March 2018 MobileZoustar


New Zealand jockey for Sydney

Champion New Zealand apprentice jockey, Sam Weatherley, will join the Chris Waller stable, at Rosehill, for three months.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity and now it has been confirmed, I can’t wait to get to Sydney,” said Weatherley.

“Thanks to a lot of people, like my boss, Lance O’Sullivan, and all the trainers who have put me on, I’ve achieved what I’ve wanted to do here. “

In his first season of riding for O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott, Weatherley won the apprentices premiership with 67 winners, and is currently on 62 wins for this season, 17 clear of Jasmine Fawcett.

New Zealand has never been short of good jockeys, those that have had success here include Bob Skelton, Garry Willets and Greg Childs.

Keith Voitre and Hughie Cairns were exceptional jockeys all those years ago, Crains won the Grand National Hurdle twice on Clontarf in 1914 ,and Maranqua in 1919, he showed his versatility when he won the Melbourne Cup in 1926 on Spearfelt, he lost his life in a fall from Quick Deal, in a Hurdle race at Moonee Valley.  

Voitre came across from New Zealand about the time Lou Robertson set up stables at Mordialloc, his residence backed on to the Epsom Racecourse, however, he rarely worked his horses there, he preferred Aspendale, across the creek away from the spies.

It didn’t take long for the spies to cotton on to Lou; while his horses were working they had a grandstand view from the Aspendale Railway Station.

Twenty horses would be about Robertson’s team at any one time, with the aid of Voitre they swept the plate clean in the spring of 1935, winning the Cox Plate with Garrio, the Derby with Felspar, the Melbourne Cup with Marabou, and the Oaks with Nalda.    

Four years after that memorable Spring Carnival, Keith Voitre lost his life in a fall from Frill Prince at Moonee Valley.

Voitre and Lou Robertson Mobile

Lou Robertson with Keith Voitre


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