Star Witness burst into contention for the Blue Diamond Stakes and made history by being the first Australian stakes winner for his sire when successful in the listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) at Flemington today.
The Danny O’Brien trained youngster, a son of former star galloper Starcraft, upstaged a quality field of gallopers to win the feature juvenile race in dazzling fashion.
A $150,000 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale purchase, Star Witness went into the race as one of the better chances following his impressive debut win at Moonee Valley in late November.
O’Brien’s representative Gerard Tesoriero was suitably impressed with the performance of the winner and said connections were now looking forward to Victoria’s premier juvenile event.
“He was pretty impressive today,” Tesoriero said. “He wanted to over race a bit.”
“The key was that we told Nick (Hall) to slot him in behind a horse because once he sees daylight he just wants to go.”
“He’s a jump and run horse pretty much,” he added. “He’s always shown those early signs.”
“We don’t really push our two-year-olds but if they are showing those early signs, then why not.”
“He’s showing all the good signs and he’s starting now to peak at this time of the year.”
Connections will now target the Group One Blue Diamond Stakes.
“We’ll probably go straight into it. He’s got plenty of prizemoney under his belt now and he seems to run fresh.”
Winning rider Nicholas Hall said the youngster was still “very new” during the race but he was delighted with the win.
“He was far too strong and it doesn’t even look like he’s gone around,” he said moments after unsaddling.
Star Witness ($5.50) raced clear over the concluding stages to beat Tricky Tricky ($4.60) by a widening margin of a length and a half.
Another neck back in third place was the previously unbeaten Peter Moody trained youngster Willow Creek ($3.40 fav).
But while the minor placegetters raced well – they were no match for the classy unbeaten winner.
An Arrowfield Stud based sire by Soviet Star, Starcraft won 11 races during an illustrious career at distances from 1400 to 2400 metres.
His biggest successes included an AJC Australian Derby and Chipping Norton Stakes.
Star Witness is the first named foal of the former smart Danny O’Brien trained mare Leone Chiara, a daughter of Lion Hunter who won seven races to 1100 metres.
She won the Group Three RN Irwin Stakes and listed WH Wylie Handicap – both run in Adelaide.
As well as being a group winner, Leone Chiara is superbly bred. She is a sister to two group winners – Ferocity and Chinchilla Rose.
Ferocity won the Group Two Ascot Vale Stakes and Magic Millions Adelaide 2YO Classic before retiring to Oaklands Stud in Queensland.
And their other full relation, the glamour sprinting mare Chinchilla Rose starred for Steele Ryan with four group wins and earnings of almost $600,000.
Meanwhile, Tollesprit made it an early double for Magic Millions graduates when he cruised home in the second event of the day.
The Shane Fliedner prepared son of Bel Esprit, a $26,000 purchase from the 2008 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale, raced home to beat Captain Coltish by over a length.
“He’s done a good job,” Fliender said. “He’s about three quarters fit at the moment.”
“He’ll head to Moonee Valley in a fortnight and if he happened to win that he might end up in the Newmarket (Handicap).”