Seventh Winner for Zoustar

Mark Smith - Sunday May 20

With his pronounced swayback, the Gary Portelli-trained Ronstar was the subject of more curiosity than admiration when parading prior to his career debut in Saturday's Abercorn Hall of Fame Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens.

But that was reversed when Ronstar fought on courageously under Winona Costin to defeat River Bird (Epaulette) by a short half head with Canyonero (Pierro) one and a half lengths back in third.

The 2yo gelding credited leading first season sire Zoustar with his seventh individual winner.

"He has a massive, effortless stride and he is going to get over further. He is a young horse with potential,'' Portelli told

It provided a welcome change of luck for his breeder and part-owner Ronnie Burns.

"It is great to get this result for Ronnie and the other part-owner, Ron Pulatti as they put a lot of money into the game, Portelli said.

"We saw a raw individual today, a horse with natural ability who should get out to further.

"His mother, Miss Essembee, was a handy sprinter and holds a couple of course records around the bush. She has thrown the speed into Ronstar and hopefully his sire, Zoustar, throws the quality."

Burns had purchased Miss Essembee for $150,000 out of the Baramul Stud draft at the 2007 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

A 5-time winner, the daughter of Flying Spur is a half-sister to the stakes-placed Spinning Boy (Spinning World) and to the Champion Griffin in Hong Kong in 2011, Bear Hero.

Miss Essembee missed to More Than Ready (USA) in 2015 and sli8pped to Nicconi in 2016. She was covered by Hallowed Crown last spring.

Currently almost $900,000 ahead of his nearest pursuer Spirit Of Boom in the race for leading first-crop sire, Zoustar stands at Widden Stud in 2018 for a fee of $60,500 (inc GST).

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