The 2013 Coolmore Stud Stakes field was released by Racing Victoria this afternoon and includes classy colt Zoustar who is chasing his second Group 1 victory in what will be the final race start of his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
The son of Northern Meteor has only had three race starts this preparation but has stamped himself as the best three-year-old in Australia with his fast-finishing win in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens and his dominant victory in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick.
Zoustar has been preparing for the 2013 Coolmore Stud Stakes in Melbourne for just under a fortnight and produced a strong piece of work alongside stablemate Moriarty at Flemington yesterday morning.
Trainer Chris Waller is delighted with the condition of the three-year-old and is full of confidence that he can extend his winning streak to three on Victoria Derby Day this weekend.
“He has come down here very well and had three gallops up the straight at Flemington in preparation for the race,” Waller told Thorough Media.
“For him it is his first attempt (down the Flemington straight) but we have tried to do everything that we can to make sure that he is tractable come race day.
“He is a very promising type, he won the Golden Rose and was a multiple Group winner as a two-year-old, and he has ticked all the boxes and he just has to tick one more box here on Saturday up the straight at the famous Flemington 1200 metres start.”
Zoustar has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) that will be run at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day but Waller said his star colt will not make his open racing debut and will be sent to the spelling paddock following the 2013 Coolmore Stud Stakes.
“There is no more to prove really; if he wins on Saturday he will go to the paddock,” the leading trainer said.
“He is a very valuable horse.”
The 2013 Coolmore Stud Stakes field is packed full of talent and will feature Caulfield Guineas runner-up Divine Calling who defeated Cox Plate winner Shamus Award at two previous starts this campaign.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained gelding won the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) in controversial fashion and went extremely close to upsetting Long John in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1200m).
One of the most interesting runners in the 2013 Coolmore Stud Stakes field is Thump who defeated Zoustar in a jump-out down the Flemington straight last Friday.
The Red Ransom filly started her campaign with a narrow victory in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) and finished a narrow third behind Bound For Earth and Guelph in the Group 2 Furious Stakes before scoring a dominant victory over Miracles Of Life and Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 3 Champagne Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
The Coolmore Stud Stakes is known as a stallion-making race but fillies Nechita (2012), Headway (2009), Gold Edition (2006) and Alinghi (2004) have all won the race in the past decade.
Is Zoustar a certainty to win the Coolmore Stud Stakes or can Divine Calling Calling, Thump or any other horse cause an upset?
2013 Coolmore Stud Stakes Final Field
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1112×411||ZOUSTAR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||10||56.5kg||106|
|3||42255×2107||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||David Hayes||Brett Prebble||7||56.5kg||90|
|4||2142×5112||DIVINE CALLING||Gai Waterhouse||Glen Boss||3||56.5kg||100|
|5||2111||LION OF BELFORT||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||4||56.5kg||89|
|6||1×1310||ECLAIR BIG BANG (NZ)||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||2||56.5kg||90|
|7||23×21371||THERMAL CURRENT||Peter G Moody||Brad Rawiller||8||56.5kg||84|
|8||112||NOT LISTENIN’TOME||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||5||56.5kg||74|
|9||13x4191x11||MISSY LONGSTOCKING||Liam Birchley||Damian Browne||6||54.5kg||94|
|10||11x270x24||VILLA VERDE||Shaun Dwyer||Hugh Bowman||9||54.5kg||82|
|11||x77260x131||THUMP||John P Thompson||Craig Williams||11||54.5kg||92|