Zoustar Colt Wins Byerley Handicap
The $150,000 VRC Byerley Handicap (1800m) at Flemington on Saturday is a trial race for the Derby and Oaks next season designed to highlight up and coming young stayers and victory went to progressive Zoustar colt Sunsource.
Trained by Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, Sunsource won the $250,000 Magic Millions Ballarat 2YO Classic on debut last spring and while he has not won since, his recent form has been very consistent with a last start third in the Listed VRC Taj Rossi Final saw him start equal favourite for this assignment.
Ridden by Damien Oliver , he was tenacious to the line in defeating Dundeel colt Line of fire by a long neck with the other co-favourite Dolphin Skin, who won the Taj Rossi finishing in third place.
Ollie's got a double! ✌️
— Racing.com (@Racing) July 15, 2023
It was a timely return to form for Sunsource, who was looking down the barrel of being gelded during his winter spell.
“We threatened him through the week that he was going to be two-stone lighter and it’s obviously worked,” Natalie Young said.
“But having Ollie (Damien Oliver) on – the GOAT – having him stand over him and bully him that little bit it seemed to work and he travelled for him and hit the line nicely.
“He’s always shown a lot of ability this horse. Just the last couple of runs he’s been a little switched off but obviously with the blinkers on, he’s a little more genuine now.
“It’s good to see this horse bounce back after winning that Ballarat two-year-old race (on debut).”
A $370,000 Magic Millions purchase from the Widden Stud draft for Busuttin Racing/Group 1 Bloodstock, Sunsource has two wins and two placings from seven starts with prizemoney in excess of $270,000.
Bred by Robert Anderson and foaled and raised at Widden, Sunsource is the second foal and second winner from Group III placed Sebring mare Patricia Dawn, a daughter of imported stakes-winner Summer Girlfriend (USA).
While the Victoria Derby run at 2500m might be beyond the distance range of Sunsource, Damien Oliver believes the colt has more wins in store.
“I don’t know if he’s sharp enough for a Caulfield Guineas but he feels like a 2000 will suit him for mine,” Oliver said.
“He kept finding the line over the 1800m, which is promising.”
His sire Zoustar is better known for his sprinter milers, but has had success during the winter months with his progressive staying son Zoumon, who has won three Cups races at his past three starts most recently the Listed Grafton Cup on Thursday.