Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Thursday January 21

The victory of Shaquero in the Magic Millions 2yo Classic puts Shalaa (IRE) on track to become just the second overseas-born sire this century to claim the title of Champion First Season Sire.

The great More Than Ready (USA) holds the honour back in season 2004-2005.

It is still early days yet; however, Shalaa (IRE) also supplanted Fastnet Rock in the race for leading 2yo sire. That list includes four first-season stallions in the top ten and six in the top twenty.

There will be no shortage of first crop stallions represented in the opener over 1000 metres at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

The Newgate Farm trio of Capitalist, Extreme Choice and Flying Artie have runners.

Extreme Choice has two leading hopes in the Matthew Smith-trained flyer Chameleon Choice and the Richard and Michael-trained Stay Inside who has impressed in two barrier trials.

Favouritism for the race is likely to be decided by the I Am Invincible filly Ashema and the Foxwedge debutant Arthur Francis who has been very impressive in two barrier trials.

We will stick with a first season stallion. The Chris Waller-trained filly Headliner will be making her career debut. on Saturday

It is heartening that James McDonald takes the ride on the daughter of Vinery Stud’s Star Turn.

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Headliner a $170,000 Magic Millions yearling

The filly has shown little pace in her two barrier trials to date. However, there was a lot to like how she finished off in her most recent trial behind Ashema at Rosehill a week back.

The strapping daughter of Star Turn could not find anyone willing to part with her $70,000 reserve at the 2019 National Weanling Sale. Still, Star Thoroughbreds/Randwick Bloodstock Agency (FBAA) were happy to take her home for $170,000 when offered by Vinery Stud at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Headliner is the first foal of the More Than Ready (USA) mare Sanaya.

Never further back than fourth in her first seven starts, Sanaya finally broke through in a 1500m maiden at Kembla Grange in May 2016.

She did not win again in a 15-start career.

While she may not have been among the most accomplished to sport Vinery’s green with white vee silks, Sanaya placed six times on metropolitan tracks.  

Star Turn (Mark Smith)

A three-quarter sister to the two-time Group III Sandown Stakes winner and handy sire Mahisara, Sanaya is one of three winners out of the top-class Flying Spur mare Astrodame.

The Brian Mayfield Smith-trained mare had been around the mark in many stakes races before having her moment in the sun in the 2006 Group II MVRC WH Stocks Stakes.

After placing in six Group races, that breakthrough came some forty minutes after Miss Andretti downed Dance Hero in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes.

Sanaya was the only filly left by Astrodame. However, Astodame’s dam Tirumani (Last Tycoon) had four fillies and all left stakes performers.

Divya (Danzero) is the dam of Proven Thoroughbreds’ thoroughly game, Listed stakes-winner and Magic Millions 2yo Classic third Candika. The daughter of Sebring had her first foal, a colt by Zoustar, sell to Waller Racing/Mulcaster Bloodstock for $520,000 at the Gold Coast.

The most successful of Tirumani’s daughters has been Darsini (Danehill). She is the dam of Mahisara, the Group III winner Ulmann (Sebring), the stakes-placed Braccenby and Bernarsini, the dam of the talented Deep Field colt Hawker Hurricane.

Tirumani is a daughter of the Group 1 VATC Blue Diamond Stakes winner Midnight Fever (Luskin Star), a sister to the 5-time Group winner Startling Lass.

Vinery Stud will have more than a passing interest in the race at Randwick on Saturday.

The leading Scone nursery will offer a full-brother to Headliner at the upcoming Inglis Classic Yearling Sale (lot 286).

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