THEY’RE nothing if not bullish down here in Australia and you can’t but be entertained by some of the reports in the daily papers.
There is no Racing Post or equivalent released on a daily basis but there is extensive coverage in most of the national papers and the only story on the back page of today’s Herald Sun was about how we should brace ourselves for “Australian racing’s next big thing”.
But if the hype is to be believed it won’t just be Australian racing’s “next big thing”. No, if the hype is to be believed, Saturday is the day the world will witness a replacement to the “void left by the incomparable Black Caviar and Atlantic Jewel” according to the Herald Sun.
Black Caviar was a sporting icon in Australia during her racing career and many books and DVD’s have subsequently been released, while Atlantic Jewel didn’t quite reach the same dizzy heights but depending on who you talk to down here, the recently retired Caulfield Stakes winner deserves just as much acclaim… if not even more.
So what is this horse that is going to light up Flemington on Saturday prior to Tuesday’s big Melbourne Cup meeting?
Zoustar is his name and he is trained by champion trainer Chris Waller and he runs in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington.
The report suggests that Waller is expecting offers up to AUS$20m “after Zoustar dazzles Victorian punters” and the race sponsors are the ones expected to cough up the hefty price tag.
It’s a done deal so by the look of things but regardless of what offers take place after the race, Waller is already predicting that the three-year-old will go to Royal Ascot next year.
“Part of the deal is that he stays with me,” Waller said. “I would love to take him to Ascot. I think he would be the perfect horse and going there and winning would continue the dream.”
Waller added; “He doesn’t have to prove much more, but he must continue to consistently win Group One races and beat the best horses.
“He has the looks, temperament and ability and he does the talking on the track. We are still to see the best of him. He is the next big thing.”
Zoustar faces 10-rivals in the Coolmore Stud Stakes on Saturday which is a card described as “purists day” in Australia as the Flemington meeting features nine Group Races including four Group Ones with the feature being the Emirates Derby.