Trainer Chris Waller has revealed that talented colt Zoustar will have three starts during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival before heading to the United Kingdom for a tilt at the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m).
The Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) and the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) were both originally on the agenda for Zoustar, but Waller said last week that the son of Northern Meteor would race exclusively in Sydney and confirmed today that the three-year-old will return to the races in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on March 15.
Zoustar will have his next race start in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 12 as part of The Championships and will have what is likely to be the final race start of his career in Australia in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 26.
Waller told TVN that he would have liked to take Zoustar to the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing, but said it would have been impossible to keep the valuable colt fresh for a crack at the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on the final day of the 2014 Royal Ascot meeting on June 22.
“To have him ready that early would have meant a very long preparation,” Waller said.
“Basically we’re saving him up by holding him back.
“He should be ready to trial in two or three weeks.”
Zoustar showed plenty of talent as a two-year-old, finishing second in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) during the 2013 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, but stamped himself as a superstar of Australian racing with a string of impressive performances during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
He resumed with a fourth place finish in the Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 31 and defied an outside barrier to win the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at the same venue on September 14, with a fast-finishing effort down the centre of the track.
Zoustar made it two wins in a row with a dominant victory over Barbed and Open Book in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) and finished his impressive preparation with his second win at Group 1 level in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
The stallion prospect will have the opportunity to join Choisir (2003), Starspangledbanner (2010) and equine superstar Black Caviar (2012) as Australian winners of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.