Zion Star, by Estidhkaar
Shares Available - 7.5%
The following share prices include: Purchase price, sales house & bloodstock agents commission, 'Plus 10 bonus' registration (if applicable), vetting, transport and training fees until 31 Mar 2020:
5% share available @ £3,700 upfront and £160 per month from 1st April 2020
2.5% share available @ £1,850 upfront and £90 per month from 1st April 2020
Purchased at the GOFFS PREMIER YEARLING SALE, this colt is by ESTIDHKAAR. Read more about his sire here: http://www.tarastud.ie/stallions/Estidhkaar/
A sire that Richard and ourselves know very well, as he is half brother to our very own Group 1 winner TOORMORE and Richard trained them both! We and Richard have enjoyed plenty of success from our Doncaster Sales purchases over the years; as well as Toormore, the dual Group 2 winner Kool Kompany and Listed winner De Bruyne Horse and we think it’s because we apply the same theory, each time around, notably “let’s buy a nice colt and not worry too much about his pedigree.” The mantra has served us very well!
Racing is all about opinions. For instance, every time anyone places a bet on a horse, you are backing your opinion. As racing enthusiasts, year in, year out we are all asked, how does this year’s winner of a big race compare with previous winners or which horse is the best winner of......etc etc. Breeding is no different, and buying yearlings from breeders is no different; the breeder’s opinion of which sire will suit their mare, produces and individual, with its assets and characteristics. When a mare owner sends her to a first season sire, as in the case of the mare of this colt, they are taking an extra gamble, in that the stallion has never produced a winner. Despite having owned three high class individuals, by then first season sires in Viren’s Army (Listed Dee Stakes-Richard Hannon), Great Page (Group 3 Prix Du Calvados-Richard Hannon), Lily’s Angel (Listed Empress Stakes-Richard Fahey), we tend to side against first season sires. Ten or twelve first season sires enter the fray each year and, at best, two of them make it and are still around 6 years later. 2018 was a perfect example; probably only No Nay Never will make it and it’s possible Bungle Inthejungle and Australia may too. In 2019 it looks as if only Night Of Thunder, Gleneagles and Cable Bay are likely to break through. It’s early days for both the 2018 and 2019 cohorts, but the odds must be stacked against any other sire coming through for a long and healthy career. We tend not to purchase too many yearlings by first season sires, as we feel it’s a false economy, given the perception that there’s value to be had, in buying a horse by a first season sire.
However, this colt is the rule breaker, the exception to the rule. He’s an outstanding individual, with no compromise about his conformation and he’s from a mare who has visited thoroughly disappointing stallions, and yet produced very fine racehorses, to date. The whole team fell in love with this horse as an individual, as we travelled the barns of Doncaster. It’s with some reticence and trepidation that we’ve supported a first season sire, but there was plenty about this horse’s provenance to make him a rulebreaker. There’s no saying Estidhkaar will be next year’s breakthrough sire, but he’d be a very strong candidate, given his credentials i.e. being a high class 2yo and 3yo and being a son of the outstanding sire Dark Angel. Furthermore, he has a stallion’s page, being a half-brother to the 2013 Champion European 2yo, Toormore.
We’re in the lap of the gods re this colt’s father, but his dam is already proven, she’s produced a Group 3 performer and hails from a family of 17 Group winning individuals. We’d like to think the odds are stacked in this colt’s favour.
Please view his walk and profile video in the gallery.
Trainer Update (18th March): We saw him at our recent owners stable visit, cantering upsides and he finished that off very nicely up the hill (see the video in the gallery) and he was an eye-catcher from the the way he moved. Richard is very impressed with him and says that he is very glad to have taken a personal share! Having trained this colt’s sire, he looks very best suited to eke out every ounce of ability from this strong and powerful individual! You can see him parading with our whole string in the barn and on the gallops in the attached videos (he is saddle cloth number 16).
It's business as usual at Richard's yard and the 2 year old's will continue to canter upsides and be educated ready for their debuts. In the last three or four seasons Richard's 2 year old strategy has changed and the yard send out much fewer 'early' 2 year old sorts. Last year we didn't run a 2 year old in April at all and only one the year before, so this enforced break means that very little has changed for the youngsters.
Richard says in his latest website post: "Business is carrying on pretty much as usual – The horses are still going out every day and we are continuing to prep them for the start of the flat season, whenever that may be. Our staff remain fit and healthy and are continuing with the day to day routine. Our two-year olds have begun working on the grass gallop and will at least have plenty of time to complete their education before they run."