Starspangled Valley Winner
An exciting program at Moonee Valley on Friday night kicked off with a scintillating victory for talented entire Mr Individual (4h Starspangledbanner x She's Alluring, by Lure), a $240,000 Magic Millions purchase from the draft of Three Bridges Thoroughbreds. An eye-catching chestnut, reminiscent of his famous sire, Mr Individual has shown glimpses of real brilliance in his career to date and was at his best in this 1500 metre Benchmark 90 event. Sent out a hot favourite, the Leon and Troy Corstens trained four year-old was well rated by Ben Thompson despite being taken on before the turn and defied all challengers to power away and win as he pleased. “Nothing went right for him in the Rupert Clarke (last start Group I), so was good to see him come back tonight and do this,” said Troy Corstens. “We had the Crystal Vase (Group II 1600m at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day) as his goal and I think we’re back to that now. “He’s a nice horse in the making.” The most expensive colt from the first Australian crop of foals for Starspangledbanner, Mr Individual was bought by Spicer Thoroughbreds, who also bought and syndicated his sire. A brilliant colt who won the Group I MRC Caulfield Guineas and Oakleigh Plate in the Spicer Thoroughbred colours with Leon Corstens training, Starspangledbanner was subsequently sold to Coolmore and campaigned successfully in Europe winning the Group I Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and the July Cup at Newmarket. Fertility issues hampered his earlier years at stud, but maturity and patient management has brought a sharp improvement for Starspangledbanner, who has returned to the main Coolmore Australia roster this spring at a fee of $24,750.