$20 million colt Zoustar is likely to campaign exclusively in Sydney during the Autumn Carnival with the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 12 high on the agenda.
Widden Stud secured Zoustar as a future stallion for its iconic showpiece stud in the Hunter Valley in a multi-million dollar deal before the colt won the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 2 and owner Antony Thompson said they will concentrate on the Sydney races.
Zoustar was ready to trial this coming Thursday with some thought of going to Melbourne for the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 15, but Thompson is happy to just wait and concentrate on the rich Sydney Autumn Carnival.
“There was a chance he could go to Melbourne for the Lightning, if we did that he would have had to trial but we are going to miss the Lightning now so there is no hurry,” Thompson told Racing Network.
“We had him nominated to trial but he won’t trial now.”
Thompson is set to meet with trainer Chris Waller this week to map out a concrete Autumn plan for Zoustar which will definitely include the T J Smith.
“I’m planning on sitting down with Chris this week and have something a little more concrete in a couple of days,” Thomspon said.
“The TJ Smith is his target, we’ve don’t need to rush him.”
“Everything is sweet there, the horse is in great shape.”
Veteran jockey Jim Cassidy has been aboard Zoustar for the seven of his eight starts and the Coolomre Stud Stakes win didn’t only justify the Northern Meteor colt’s high price tag, but provided Cassidy with his one hundredth Group 1 winner.
Cassidy also steered Zoustar to his other Group 1 win with a last to first performance to take out the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill at the beginning of the Sydney Spring Carnival last year.
The Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes is part of the revamped Sydney Autumn Carnival which incorporates ‘The Championships’, a two day carnival on the 12th and 19th of April at Randwick with $18m in prizemoney on offer, featuring four Group 1s on both Saturdays.
The other three Group 1s to be run on the first day of ‘The Championships’ are the $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m), $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) and the $1m Inglis Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
While the four Group 1s to be contested on the second day are $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), the $1m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m), the $1m Australian Oaks (2400m) and the $1m Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m).