Starspangled Winner of $2million Inglis Millennium
The postponed $2million Inglis Millennium (1100m) for two year-olds was run at Warwick Farm on Wednesday and produced a thrilling finish with Prime Star (2g Starspangledbanner x Barinka, by Shinko King) scoring a tenacious win over stakes-placed filly Bella Nipotina (2f Pride of Dubai x Bella Orfana, by Star Witness).
Second in the $500,000 Inglis Banner on Cox Plate day and most recently fourth in the Group III MRC Blue Diamond Preview, Bella Nipotina was always going to take some beating in this assignment with the Richard and Michael Freedman trained Prime Star rising to the occasion.
Beaten a neck in his past two starts at Gosford and Newcastle, Prime Star was race fit and relished the heavy nine conditions to win by half a neck taking his overall record to one win and two seconds from four starts with prizemoney of $1.2million.
He was ridden by Tom Marquand, who was optimistic about his chances soon after jumping.
“You know after three strides whether they are handling it or not and he jumped straight into the bridle,” he said.
Prime Star was a $55,000 Inglis Classic purchase from the draft of Fairview Park for Waterford Bloodstock / M Freedman and runs for a syndicate that includes China Horse Club in whose colours he runs.
Co-trainer Michael Freedman was on hand after the victory and revealed the stable may have to aim higher now with the talented two year-old.
“Even if he never wins another race it’s been a great result for a horse we bought for just $55,000. It’s been a huge thrill,” said Michael Freedman.
“We might have to rethink where we go from here as there are so many options for two year-olds outside of the Slipper, but we’ll see how he pulls up first.”
Bred by Chris Lawlor, who retains a share in his ownership, Prime Star is the fourth winner from New Zealand Group I winner Barinka (NZ).
Prime Star is the 12th stakes-winner for Choisir’s champion son Starspangledbanner, who has had a chequered career at stud that has at times been hampered by poor fertility.
He has stood at varying times in his career between Coolmore in the Hunter Valley and Rosemont Stud in Victoria, where he was based last year in the Southern Hemisphere.
He remains on the Coolmore Ireland roster and stands at a fee of 22,500 euros in 2020.
Bella Nipotina's sire Pride of Dubai is currently the leading Australian first crop sire by earnings and had yearlings at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale sell for up to $125,000.
He has 20 entries for the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale in Melbourne next month and a further nine for the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.