Starcraft Sprinter Wins Seven From Nine

Tara Madgwick - Wednesday January 2
Racing at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on New Year's Day produced a new stakes-winner for Starcraft with exciting prospect Conte overpowering his rivals to win the Group III Chinese Club Challenge Cup bringing a big pedigree update for his Magic Millions bound half-sister.

Conte - HKJCTrained by John Size, five year-old Conte has been steadily working through the grades and surged to the line under Joao Moreira to win this 1400 metre sprint by three-quarters of a length as favourite.

The big bay's victory was one of five on the 11-race card for Size and his stable jockey Moreira, and left the latter enthusing about his mount.

"I'm very excited. I believe we're going to see more upside," said Moreira after Conte had stopped the clock at 1m 20.85s, eased down and still only 0.54s off the track record.

The manner of success and his impressive overall record of seven wins from nine starts has connections considering a possible tilt at Beauty Generation in the Group I Stewards' Cup (1600m) three weeks from now.

Size has that race on his radar, if not yet locked in. "I'll certainly have to consider it," the champion trainer said. "I'll weigh it up but he's run out of other options very fast – if he doesn't go there he stays home in the box."

Joao Moreira has ridden Conte in all of his wins and is a big fan.

"I love everything about this horse; his character, his personality, his attitude, his movement; the way he responds when you ask, he just does it for you. What I really love is when you put him under pressure he may not look like he's dashing but I can tell you, he's going fast," he said.

"Probably because he's big and he's covering lot of ground, it doesn't look as if he's quickening like he is,"

StarcraftConte was a $50,000 Magic Millions Book Two purchase for Aquanita Racing from the Rosari Farm draft and was bred by Ged Nolan.

He is the best of three winners from three foals to race from Miss Midas, a half-sister by Flying Spur to Group II winner Innovation Girl, the dam of stakes-winner Chloe in Paris.

Rosari Farm will offer a Deep Field half-sister to Conte at Magic Millions Book Two in 2019 as Lot 1036.

Conte is the 20th stakes-winner for Rosemont Stud's Starcraft, who has had increased popularity with breeders in the past couple of years covering 101 mares in 2017 and over 50 last year.

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