$400,000 Zoustar Colt Wins on Debut for Te Akau
Zoustar had a winning treble at Moonee Valley on Saturday as well as an impressive debut two year-old winner in New Zealand.
Talented Zoustar colt When Stars Align kicked off his career in the Japac Homes (1100m) at Trentham on Saturday, adding his name to a bumper list of two-year-old talent in the Te Akau Racing stable this season.
Premiership-leading trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson headed into the $40,000 race with half a dozen winners already among the 2023-24 juvenile ranks. Captured By Love was a dominant three-length winner of the Gr.2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) earlier this month, while boom colt Move To Strike made a huge impression on debut at Te Rapa last weekend. Bellatrix Star, About Last Night, Dream Of The Moon and Maracatu have also recorded stylish victories.
On Saturday the spotlight shifted to When Stars Align and he dominated the betting at $2.10.
Ridden positively from the inside gate by Michael McNab, When Stars Align slid forward to take the lead in the early stages of the race and dominated proceedings from there, accelerating impressively at the top of the straight and kicking clear to win by more than a length.
When Stars Align is by Zoustar out of the Group II -placed Darci Brahma mare Shenandoah. The colt was bred by the Hawkins family’s Llanhennock Trust and offered under their Wentwood Grange banner in Book 1 at Karaka earlier this year, where David Ellis purchased him for $400,000. \
Saturday’s debut win earned $23,000 in prize-money for When Stars Align, which puts him in seventh place on the order of entry for the TAB Karaka Millions 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 27.
“It always comes around pretty quickly, but hopefully we’ll be there in force again,” Bergerson said. “We’ve got another couple of first-starters in on Boxing Day at Pukekohe who can hopefully put their hands up as well.
“We’re really happy with When Stars Align’s win today. Nabber (McNab) was pretty keen to find the fence. He worked the horse on Tuesday and said that he does have a bit of an awkward action and an awkward way of going, so he was pretty keen to find the rail and follow it. Thankfully he did.
“He’s still a pretty raw colt and doing a few things wrong, changing legs there, but it’s all in front of him. He looks like a nice type going forward.
“The Karaka Millions would be nice, but we’ll see how he comes through this. He’s a nice, big, strong horse. He’s still a bit immature, but it’s all in front of him.”
Zoustar also had a winning treble at Moonee Valley with wins for Gitalong and Philosopher, who were both in hot form having each made it three wins on the trot, as well as Zou Sensation.
Philosopher was an $800,000 Magic Millions purchase from Widden Stud for Jams Harron Bloodstock, while Zou Sensation was a $150,000 Magic Millions purchase from Widden for Bennette Racing.
There are siblings to both Philosopher and Zou Sensation at Magic Millions 2024.
Lot 876 from Widden Stud is the Zoustar colt from Lone that is the full brother to stakes-placed Philosopher.
Lot 559 from Kulani Park is the three-quarter -sister by Zousain to stakes-placed Zou Sensation from stakes-winner Dame Claire.