Earlier this morning champion trainer Chris Waller revealed the unfortunate news that outstanding dual Group I winning colt Zoustar has gone amiss and will not compete at Royal Ascot this year.
“A minor problem was detected with the horse following his first serious pace work and scans overnight revealed he has a very small strain to a lateral aspect of the proximal suspensory ligament,” Waller said in a statement to the media.
“As a result the vet prognosis is for his work to be reduced as well as being given time off for the area to rest and recover.
“It is extremely disappointing that we are not able to compete at Royal Ascot. The horse had travelled exceptionally well to England and for me personally it was the start of what would have been the experience of a lifetime. To have a horse the calibre of Zoustar to not only race in England, but at the prestigious Ascot carnival would have clearly been a highlight for me.”
Given the immense value of Zoustar as a stallion prospect and with his initial book of mares filling fast, Widden Stud have taken the decision to retire Zoustar immediately.
“As a dual Group I winning sprinter of the VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes and ATC Golden Rose, Zoustar has nothing left to prove and while we are of course disappointed he will not compete at Royal Ascot, he has the world at his feet in the breeding barn,” said Antony Thompson.
Zoustar’s Champion First Season Sire Northern Meteor continues to prove his worth as an elite stallion with new stakes-winners such as Cosmic Endeavour and Atmospherical, whose dam Faster Pussycat is among the early bookings to Zoustar.
“Zoustar is an absolutely stunning individual and every breeder that has had the opportunity to see him has been amazed at his physique and relaxed attitude. His book is shaping up as one of the strongest selection of mares any first season sire could wish for and will no doubt give him every possible chance for success,” Thompson added.
“It is some reflection on Zoustar to have a champion trainer and jockey combination such as Chris Waller and Jim Cassidy declare him the fastest, most explosive horse they have ever been associated with.
“Interestingly, exactly like Northern Meteor, Zoustar retires to Widden lightly raced having only just the nine starts which includes a dominant victory in the sire-making Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington. With his eye-catching looks and explosive turn of foot he really does have all the requirements to become a very successful stallion in Australia.
“Unquestionably the finest son of Northern Meteor, Zoustar will receive huge support from both Widden and Woodside Park Stud as well as Qatar Bloodstock going forward to ensure he has every opportunity to keep alive the legacy of his ill-fated Champion young sire.”
Zoustar stands at a fee of $44,000.