Starspangled Stakes Double

Tara Madgwick - Saturday September 8
Coolmore based Starspangledbanner has had his share of well documented issues over the years, but Saturday was a red letter day for the champion son of Choisir who posted a two state stakes double.

Thrillster - image Grant CourtneyMaking it a memorable day for their sire were  Home of the Brave (IRE) capturing the Group II ATC Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill and classy filly Thrillster taking out the Listed MVRC Atlantic Jewel Stakes at Moonee Valley.

Prepared by Leon and Troy Corstens, who also put the polish on her sire Starspangledbanner, Thrillster scored lucrative wins last season at two in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Rush Plate and $300,000 VOBIS Sires Stakes before returning with a close third in the Group III MRC Quezette Stakes behind glamour filly Sunlight after drawing 16 in a field of 16.

That eye-catching performance put the writing on the wall and Thrillster was quick to take the next step in this 1200 metre stakes assignment.

She enjoyed a better run in transit this time from gate three for Noel Callow and hit the line hard to win by a long neck.

"We've had a bit of a bad run over the last six months," Troy Corstens said.

"We haven't kept it a secret but we've had a bug go through the stable with temperatures popping up here and there."

Thrillster holds entries for the spring majors including the Group I ATC Golden Rose next month.

"The Thousand Guineas (at Caulfield) is the target," Corstens said.

"We haven't planned anything going forward but she's still in the Golden Rose, so maybe we'll have a look at that.

"We'll get home and let things settle down and work it out from there."

Home of the Brave wins the G2 Theo Marks StakesA $60,000 Inglis Premier purchase from the Rosemont Stud draft for Malua Bloodstock, Thrillster runs for a big group of owners that includes Troy Corstens and Rosemont Stud in whose colours she runs.

She is the first winner for Heart of Thrills, a three-quarter sister-in-blood to Group III winner Gotta Have Heart and stakes-winner Crossyourheart.

Heart of Thrills was sold at the Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale this year for $200,000 in foal to Newgate Farm's dual Group I winning Not a Single Doubt son Extreme Choice. Her current yearling colt by Rubick made $60,000 as a weanling at the same sale going to McKeever Bloodstock.

StarspangledbannerThrillster is the ninth stakes-winner for Starspangledbanner, who battled fertility issues early in his stud career before enjoying a stint at Rosemont Stud in Victoria before ultimately returning to full commercial use at Coolmore in the Hunter Valley.

Starspangledbanner had over 50 foals born in Australia last year and covered a further 56 mares at Coolmore last spring.

With 10.5% stakes-winners to runners, there is no doubt Starspangledbanner is a top class sire and with these better numbers coming through may well make the impact he deserves.

He stands this spring at a fee of $11,000.

The other Starspangledbanner stakes-winner on Saturday, Home of the Brave (read about him here) also has a connection to the Corstens family.

Corstens and bloodstock agent Justin Bahen purchased Home Of The Brave as a yearling for 80,000 euros at the Arqana Deauville August Yearling Sale with the gelding doing his early racing in the UK for Australian owners under the guidance of Hugo Palmer.

"We were thinking of bringing him out here to race, but Hugo did a deal with Godolphin," Corstens said.

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