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Newsletter - January 2019

Goodbye 2018 and a very warm welcome to 2019!

After what was such an enjoyable trip last year, I was filled with envy seeing the photos from the Magic Millions this year. I am delighted that John and Dane came away with the lovely Zoustar ex Pleats filly with Ciaron Maher and David Eustace. The dynamic training duo were within a whisker of winning the Magic Millions 2yo Classic this year with Dubious, and we have partnered up with Aquis Farm to race this filly, who also own Dubious. We are looking forward to trying to go one better in the race with the team next year.  

It was fantastic to see Bjorn Baker have a double win at the Magic Millions alongside Chris Waller's double, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott's winner, and with Ciaron and David almost…

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It was fantastic to see Bjorn Baker have a double win at the Magic Millions alongside Chris Waller's double, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott's winner, and with Ciaron and David almost snatching the feature race of the day. Seeing our trainers perform so brilliantly on the big stage only gives me further confidence we are giving our horses, and shareowners, every chance of racing at the highest level in Australia. 

Zoustar ex Pleats yearling filly

Whilst 2018 is one we are happy to put in the rear-view mirror, we do have some lovely horses in the pipeline ready to grace the turf. Two-year-old Edison (Fastnet Rock ex A Million Tears) is trialling on the 29th January at Rosehill Gardens a week before the old marvel Libran makes his return to trials on the 4th February as he prepares for another assault on the Sydney Autumn Carnival. Also, a change of scenery looks to have sparked up Joshua Reynolds following his first trial of the preparation at Bendigo last week. Now in the care of the Lindsay Park training trio we are looking forward to seeing Joshua make his mark on the increased prizemoney offering in Melbourne for staying races, which is now a staggering $135,000 per race!

There is lots to look forward to in 2019 with Highclere Australia, and I can’t wait to get back down for the upcoming Autumn Carnival. I'd like to wish all of our shareowners a happy and healthy 2019 and look forward to catching up soon.  

Harry Herbert, Chairman

Feature Horse: We Welcome Our Newest Edition to the Highclere Roster

We are over the moon to be introducing this lovely filly we secured at the 2019 Magic Millions Yearling Sale. By sire of the moment Zoustar, this filly stood out through all of our inspections and we didn’t wait long to pounce, finding her early on in the sale as Lot 18 for $150,000 which is quite extraordinary considering Zoustar progeny averaged almost $320,000 during the Book 1 sale for runner-up sale gross proceeds of $13 million! 

This filly is the sixth foal out of the French Green Desert mare Pleats, who has already produced a stakes horse in Intriguing Lady and was a winner at two-years of age.…

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This filly is the sixth foal out of the French Green Desert mare Pleats, who has already produced a stakes horse in Intriguing Lady and was a winner at two-years of age. Arguably, Zoustar is the best stallion to go to Pleats in her broodmare career and she is from a family littered with black type performers. 

Please CLICK HERE to see the video footage of her at the sale. 

She was a standout through all the inspections and looks an early two-year-old type, so we're hoping we wont be waiting long to see her grace the turf for the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace team at Caulfield, who have just announced further boxes to be allocated to them at Warwick Farm, Sydney.

If you are interested in joining us to race this exciting filly by sire sensation Zoustar, please do get in touch as shares are selling quickly! 

Who Star? Zoustar!

Get used to hearing the name Zoustar over the coming decades...

Labelled the hottest young sire in Australia, the Champion Sprinter now crowned Champion First Season Sire is creating tidal waves in his first two seasons of runners, headlined by Champion Filly Sunlight who led home the highest rated 3yo sprint of the season, the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes, when beating home paternal brothers and Group 2 winners Zousain and Lean Mean Machine.

The Coolmore Stud Stakes has become a family affair for Zoustar after he won the race as a colt back in 2013. As did his ill-fated sire Northern Meteor in 2008 and so…

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The Coolmore Stud Stakes has become a family affair for Zoustar after he won the race as a colt back in 2013. As did his ill-fated sire Northern Meteor in 2008 and so did his Champion Sire Encosta De Lago, who won the race when it was known as the Group 2 Ascot Vale Stakes in 1996. So now Sunlight, after already claiming the Magic Millions 2yo Classic riches, is keeping up with family tradition whilst creating her own family history in being the first female in the lineage to win the famed race down the Flemington straight six.  

Please CLICK HERE to see the link to Sunlight's Coolmore win article, with link to the replay. 

Zoustar's 1-2-3 in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes

Widden Stud, who stand Zoustar, have already raised his service fee from $44,000 last season to $60,500 this spring and his fee could be headed for a further hike next season on the back of his Coolmore trifecta and following the start of his 2019 sales season at the Magic Millions which saw his progeny average over $320,000 in Book 1 with a top lot of $1.075m. 

Zoustar's career in the breeding barn was earned well before his covering days as the standout speed colt of his generation after just missing out on an unbeaten two-year-old season when being pipped in the Group 1 JJ Atkins Stakes in QLD, before returning in Sydney spring to win the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes over 1400m before backing up later in Melbourne to take out the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes over 1200m under the care of Chris Waller. 

“He was that good, I could of prepared him for the Golden Slipper however given I thought he was bred to be at his best at Three, we were happy to wait. What he did achieve at Two was just a glimpse of his natural ability. An equine machine.” Chris Waller

Retired to stud soon after, the partners in Zoustar struck a deal with Woodside Park and Widden Stud who elected to dual stand the son of the ill-fated Northern Meteor, who previously stood at Widden, whereby he would rotate each season between the two studs during his first four seasons covering mares. Zoustar would then continue in the most commercially viable venue after the first four years of stud duties, which ended up being awarded to Widden following a lengthy court battle culminating in Sydney last year.

Woodside Park's interests in Zoustar were sold to the China Horse Club and Gerry Harvey's Baramul Stud to settle the case and allow Widden to stand what they believe to be the heir to their ill-fated resident sire, Northern Meteor. 

Not only has Zoustar made an impact on the Southern Hemisphere's racing and breeding industry but he is also beginning to turn heads in the Northern Hemisphere. Qatar Bloodstock raced Zoustar in the partnership and now are major shareholders in the stallion, securing the rights to stand Zoustar at Tweenhills Stud in the UK which is managed by David Redvers on behalf of Sheikh Fahad Al Thani. Zoustar currently demands a service fee of £25,000 in the Northern Hemisphere, his oldest progeny being foals. 

Based on what we have seen, Highclere are delighted to be able to purchase a significant interest in the Zoustar ex Pleats filly from the Magic Millions Yearling Sale, in partnership with Aquis Farm and to be trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace where we hope she can continue the trend of Zoustar's progeny on the racetrack over the coming seasons. 

Zoustar

The All Star Mile Voting Is Now Open!

In a first for Australian racing, racing fans will determine who contests the nation’s newest feature race: the $5,000,000 All-Star Mile (1600m). Inspired by Japan's Arima Kinen, the racing public will also get a chance to share in the glory with 14 lucky voters selected to become an “Owner Ambassador” of a horse in the race and go in the running to win a share of $500,000 in prizemoney.

Taking its inspiration from Japan’s famous public-powered race, the Arima Kinen, Australia’s newest feature race aims to engage sports lovers by voting for their favourite horses. First run in 1956, the…

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Taking its inspiration from Japan’s famous public-powered race, the Arima Kinen, Australia’s newest feature race aims to engage sports lovers by voting for their favourite horses. First run in 1956, the Arima Kinen was promoted to an international Group 1 race in 2007. Its popularity has continued to grow, with now more than 1 million fans voting for their favourite selections.

Grunt - perfect race for the Gr1 Australian Guineas winner

The All Star Mile will be run on the 16th March at Flemington with ten of the fourteen runners in the final field selected by Australian voters prior to the end of the voting period on 18th February, 2019. The remaining four slots in the race will be wildcard horses selected by Racing Victoria. 

If a voter is selected to be an 'Owner Ambassador' for a horse that is selected in the race and their horse ends up winning the All Star Mile, then you could go on to win $250,000! Simple as that. The voting is officially open, so don't miss your chance to be a part of history with the inaugural running of The All Star Mile.

Please CLICK HERE to learn more and have your chance to vote for your favourite horse. 

The Autumn Sun - the Gr1 Caulfield Guineas winner will be popular among voters

Did You Know? Yearling Sales Preparation

Years of planning culminate in those several minutes of a yearling's time in the auction ring which will determine their racing future. For commercial breeders, the difference between good and bad sale results can be the difference between profiting or making a loss in that year. Plenty hangs in the balance and planning for those few minutes in the auction ring is critical to securing the best possible outcome for breeders and their horses. So the question begs, what planning goes in to getting the best possible outcome in the sales ring?   

Each year thousands of yearlings are put through the auction ring in Australia and all over the world, with Ireland, UK, France, America, Japan and New Zealand representing the largest…

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Each year thousands of yearlings are put through the auction ring in Australia and all over the world, with Ireland, UK, France, America, Japan and New Zealand representing the largest producers of race horses around the globe. 

Please CLICK HERE to gain an insight into commercial breeding and yearling sales prep. 

The planning for a breeder for the sales begins 30 months prior to their yearling being sold through the sale ring. The mating selection of the mare to a stallion is vitally important to what sort of stallion the breeder can afford to send to their mare versus how the paternal pedigree matches up with maternal pedigree. Will the cross work? Are they suited physically to mate? Will this have commercial appeal to a buyer in two and a half years time? With more often questions being raised rather than answered, as there is never a definitive resulting answer. 

Provided your resultant foal is delivered safely eleven months later, hopefully free of harm and deformities, the foal will be allowed to live alongside its mother for the first 5-6 months of its life before being weaned into a paddock of other weaners where they will be allowed to grow out for the next twelve months. Provided the now yearling hasn't done itself harm prior to the sales preparation, the preparation will begin around 8-12 weeks prior to the sale ring (depending on the farm) and involve plenty of hands on work with the yearling to make them accustomed to human contact. Hand walking and, as you will see in the video please CLICK HERE, lunging, walker and sometimes swimming exercise are undertaken with the yearlings to have them looking in tip top shape before going to off to the sales. There are dozens of sales throughout the year and carefully placing your yearling to stand out can be the difference between profit and loss.  

The ultimate aim is to secure the very best possible price for the yearling and hope that when it's taken to the yearling sale, there will be plenty of interest and inspections on the sale grounds. The next stumbling block can often be the difference between six and seven figures, and that's the veterinary clearance. X-rays of the bone structures and endoscopic examinations of the laryngeal function of the yearlings airways are assessed and given a grading of high, moderate or low risk for racing purposes. Often the high risk horses have issues on their x-rays which may develop into problems later down the track under the stress of training and obviously pushes potential buyers away. Whereas the low risk horses are more often sort after. This is not to say horses who haven't passed the x-rays haven't gone on to be top class animals. A lot of buyers do not take x-rays into consideration. 

Once all the inspections and veterinary examinations are completed the time comes to sell, and as I am sure you can imagine, its an achievement to get a yearling safely and in one piece to the sale ring, where all the planning and horse management over the past 18 months hopefully pays off in spades. Commercial breeding certainly isn't for the faint hearted, but the rewards can be great, as we saw on the Gold Coast for the Magic Millions this year with the top lot from Yarraman Park making $1.7m.

Commercial breeders are straight back into yearling preparations with Inglis Classic Sale only three weeks away and Melbourne Premier at the start of March. The yearling sales season culminates at Inglis Easter Yearling Sale where the cream of the crop are sold and would encourage anyone to make it out to Riverside Stables to get a glimpse of all tha action in April.   

Out & About With The Highclere Camera - January 2019

Check out some of the pictures taken over the last month! 

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