Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Friday July 23

With the success of her first foal, the dual Group 1 winner Star Witness, it was somewhat surprising that it took another eleven years before Leone Chiara revisited Starcraft.

The result is the striking chestnut colt Regulus who will be out to break his maiden at Caulfield on Saturday in the $150,000 Neds Vobis Gold Ingot (1400m).

Like the Group 1 MRC Blue Diamond Stakes and Group 1 VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes hero Star Witness, Regulus is in the stable of Danny O'Brien. The leading trainer signed the cheque for $320,000 to secure the colt from the B2B Thoroughbreds draft at the Gold Coast in 2020.

Regulus a $320,000 Magic Millions yearling

At his first start, Regulas was a fighting third behind Jagar and Stalking over 1200m at Flemington on July 3. He looked the winner at the 200m before peaking on his run.

O'Brien has put the polish on many of the foals of Leone Chiara, who he also trained.

A sister to Group II winners Chinchilla Rose and Ferocity and a half-to Listed winner Chiaramonte, Leone Chira enjoyed stakes success in South Australia in the Group III SAJC RN Irwin Stakes and Listed WH Wylie Hcp while banking almost $350,000 with seven wins from 26 starts.

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A product of Ken' Tubby' Turner's flying Danehill stallion Lion Hunter and his inspired $16,500 broodmare purchase Chiara (Last Tycoon), Leone Chiara came up for sale at the 2014 National Broodmare Sale. There was little surprise when O'Brien signed the ticket for $800,000 on behalf of clients.

A year earlier, Leone Chiara's Medaglia d'Oro (USA) colt made $500,000 at the Easter Yearling Sale. When Leone Chiara went through the ring, the Medaglia d'Oro (USA) colt named Nostradamus had won his first starts at Flemington before a fourth behind Rubick in the Group III Blue Diamond Prelude for colts and gelding.

Chinchilla Rose, a sister to Leone Chiara, wins the Surround Stakes (image Mark Smith)

Nostradamus became Leone Chiara's second stakes winner when capturing the Group III San Domenico Stakes at Rosehill before adding the Group III Gold Coast Guineas.

Nostradamus now stands alongside Starcraft at Rosemont Stud.

The stakes account grew to three in May when Leone Chiara's $280,000 Sebring colt Embracer won the Listed Hawkesbury Gold Rush for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.

Embracer's lightly raced sister Lady Lupino was third behind Castelvecchio and Loving Gaby in the Group 1 ATC Champagne Stakes. Among the many in the family owned by B2B Bloodstock, Lady Lupino was covered by Starcraft last spring.

Leone Chiara has four fillies from her ten foals to date. The latest is a yearling daughter of Starcraft. Her first filly, Elusive Leone, had just three foals before her tragic death. Her daughter Vulpine won the Group III Wenona Girl Stakes at Randwick in March.

A 5-time Group 1 winning son of Soviet Star, Starcraft lines up for his sixteenth season at stud this year.

Starcraft (image Mark Smith)

The strapping chestnut has ridden the rollercoaster of fashion over the years after being well supported in his formative years by his owner Paul Makin.

The winner of the 2004 AJC Australian Derby and Chipping Norton Stakes and Group 1 Mudgway Stakes in New Zealand, Starcraft represented the antipodes with distinction in Europe.

After finishing third behind Savabeel and Fields Of Omagh in the WS Cox Plate, the colt was sent to Luca Cumani at Newmarket. He won the Group 1 Prix du Moulin at Longchamp before downing Dubawi in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, held that year at Newmarket as Ascot closed for refurbishment.

Never to shirk from a challenge, connections stumped the $800,000 late entry fee for Starcraft in the $4million Breeders' Cup Classic held that year at Belmont Park. Racing on dirt for the first time in his career, Starcraft finished seventh of the 13 runners led by Horse Of The Year, Saint Liam.   

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