Promising Starspangledbanner 2YO Wins on Debut
Lindsay Park have been unstoppable with their juveniles this season and produced a lovely late season prospect in Stellar Olympus (2g Starspangledbanner x Hera, by O'Reilly), who made a winning debut in the $150,000 VRC Next Generation Series Final (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Trained by Ben and JD Hayes, Stella Olympus surged along the fence for Ben Allen to score a tenacious head win in a thrilling finish justifying the decision to run at Flemington rather than Geelong where he was also entered.
Small field, good prizemoney and a better surface led to Stellar Olympus starting at Flemington in a tough race on debut, but JD Hayes felt he was always capable of a big run and has a bright future.
“I was nervous at the 200m when he wasn’t getting a run, but when the split came I thought he was good enough to show that turn of foot and get past them,” said JD Hayes.
“We think he will be a better horse at 1400m which adds more merit to the performance and I have to give a shout out to Johnny McKeever, who selected him at Melbourne Premier as he’s been a big horse and he’ll be even better in six months time.”
A $160,000 Inglis Premier purchase for McKeever Bloodstock / Dabernig Racing from the Gilgai Farm draft, Stellar Olympus is the second winner from Group II winning O’Reilly mare Hera (NZ). Gilgai Farm sold a yearling full sister to Stellar Olympus at Inglis Premier this year for $40,000.
Starspangledbanner returns to Australia this spring at a fee of $33,000.