$500,000 Zoustar Colt Headed for HK

Media Release - Thursday November 23

Former champion jockey Douglas Whyte boosted the ranks of his emerging training operation with a Karaka buying bench debut during the Ready to Run Sale on Thursday.

The winner of 13 consecutive jockeys’ premierships in Hong Kong between 2000-01 and 2012-13, Whyte has been training since the 2019-20 season and has already saddled more than 180 winners. Russian Emperor has been a headline act with three wins at Group One level, while Stronger took out the Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m).

$500,000 Zoustar colt from Reconstruct - image Trish Dunell

Whyte teamed up with Sam Wright’s Equine Investments and bloodstock agent Bevan Smith to buy Lot 203 for $500,000 on Thursday afternoon. Offered by Riversley Park, the colt is by Zoustar and is closely related to the Group winners Alma’s Fury and Championship.

That was followed by another purchase for the team later in the day, securing Lot 318 for $290,000. The gelding by Wrote was consigned by BMD Bloodstock Ltd.

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“I have been to Karaka previously, but I haven’t bought here before,” Whyte said. “I haven’t been training for that long, so it’s the first time I’ve stuck my neck out and purchased horses here, but it’s been good.

“This is where it all starts, really. You’ve got to get the young ones to keep the yard ticking over. I’ve got a nice crop of young horses now, who you just have to get them to develop the right way.

“I’ve got a couple of older horses at the moment who are close to the end of their tether. The young ones are what you’re here for, and they’re going to make or break my yard.”

L-R: Sam Wright, Douglas Whyte and Bevan Smith at Karaka Photo: Angelique Bridson

Smith played a key role in the acquisition of Lot 203, leaning on the expertise of vendor Sam Beatson.

“Sam Beatson’s as good as anyone in the industry at doing these breeze-ups and preparing horses,” Smith said. “From day one, I’ve stayed in contact with Sam and he was saying, ‘This is the horse, this is the horse.’

“It gives you confidence buying off someone like Sam when he gives you a nudge for a horse. He sold Golden Sixty and hopefully this horse can live up to that kind of tag.”

Wright has been a friend of Whyte’s since he was a young boy and has become an integral part of the trainer’s fledgling operation.

“We work together on pretty much everything, we’re very close friends,” Wright said. “We run what I like to think is a tight ship.

“Through the years of being on the grounds at the sales and meeting different people in the industry, it’s a small network and you make friends, and Bevan and I have been working together now for at least the better part of the year and it’s working well.

“It’s very much a team approach to try and get the best results we can for our owners back in Hong Kong. It’s not a one-man ship and we share the love.” – NZ Racing Desk

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