Meteors Fly High
Tara Madgwick - Monday July 8
On Sunday we had a look at Sebring and his sire sons, so it only seems right we now turn our attention to the burgeoning sire dynasty being created by his former Widden Stud barn mate Northern Meteor, who despite his premature death in 2013 after just four seasons at stud has assured the future of the Encosta de Lago sireline for many years to come.

Northern MeteorThe Champion First Season Sire of 2012/2013, Northern Meteor always had a bit of the x-factor about him even when he was racing.

The Gooree Stud homebred was unraced at two, then had two inconclusive starts as an early spring three year-old for John Hawkes and was then transferred to Gai Waterhouse.

He won his next three starts, two of them breaking track records at Canterbury and Randwick before winning the Group I VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes.

Four starts in the autumn fielded a fourth in the Group I VRC Newmarket Handicap and a second to Takeover Target in the Group I ATC TJ Smith Stakes, before he retired to Widden with the overall record of three wins and two placings from nine starts.

That electric brilliance he possessed as a racehorse has been transmitted very successfully at stud, so much so that he has no fewer than six commercial sons at stud – Zoustar, Deep Field, Shooting to Win, Fighting Sun, Eurozone, Sports Edition - and his first grand-son with Zoustar's Group II winning son Lean Mean Machine to cover his first mares at Aquis Victoria this spring.

ZoustarThe best horse from the first crop of Northern Meteor, Zoustar was a lot better racehorse in many ways than his sire winning six of his nine starts including two Group I victories in the VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes and ATC Golden Rose.

He retired to Widden Stud as the heir apparent to his ill-fated sire at a fee of $44,000 and has been a runaway success. Champion First Season Sire, soon to be Champion Second Season Sire and one of the very few stallions to produce a Group I trifecta with his offspring dominating the 2018 VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes – Sunlight, Zousain and Lean Mean Machine.

Zoustar is in the UK at present covering his first Northern Hemisphere mares at Tweenhills Stud and stands this spring fully booked at $154,000, while his first son to stud Lean Mean Machine stands at Aquis Victoria at a fee of $17,600.

Retiring to stud in the same year as Zoustar are Eurozone and Fighting Sun, who have both produced stakes-winners and a steady stream of winners.

Eurozone stands at Bellereve Stud near Canberra this spring at a fee of $7,700 and Fighting Sun is at Sun Stud in Victoria at a fee of $13,750.

Deep FieldFull brothers Deep Field and Shooting to Win have had their first runners this season and while Shooting to Win was the better racehorse as winner of the Group I MRC Caulfield Guineas, Group II winning sprinter Deep Field has the early edge in their battle as stallions.

Deep Field has 18 winners on the board headed by Group winners Dig Deep and Cosmic Force, while Shooting to Win has eight winners headed by Group I placed Kubrick.

Shooting to Win stands at Darley at a fee of $22,000 and Deep Field stands at Newgate Farm at a fee of $44,000.

Is Deep Field twice as good a sire as Shooting to Win? Time will answer that question, although given what we know about this sireline it's fairly safe to say we have barely scratched the surface of either stallion as their progeny will undoubtedly improve with maturity.

Shooting to WinThe big positive for both stallions is that they are Danehill free and that can be a massive plus for any stallion that can use the power of those Danehill mares to springboard themselves up the ladder to long term commercial success.