Powerhouse chestnut Choisir colt Starspangledbanner claimed his first Black Type victory when dashing clear for a dominant win in the Listed MRC Vain Stakes over 1100 metres at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Leon Corstens trained colt jumped swiftly from an outside gate for Danny Nikolic and quickly worked forward to lead before shaking off all challengers in the straight to beat Fastnet Rock gelding Éclair Fastpass by two and a half lengths.
A brilliant speedster with the overall record of three wins and two placings from six starts with prizemoney of $323,450, Starspangledbanner looks set for a good spring carnival although whether he can stretch out in distance is the question being asked.
"We're hopeful... his sire Choisir ran third in the Caulfield Guineas, so he might get further, you just have to keep your fingers crossed," said Corstens.
Jockey Danny Nikolic has been aboard the colt at his last two wins and is also optimistic.
"When I rode him in a barrier trial I thought he was just going to be a 1000 metre horse, but the way he relaxed today and finished off so strongly makes me think he'll get six furlongs at least," said Nikolic.
A $120,000 purchase at the 2008 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, Starspangledbanner was bred and offered for sale by Tony Santic's Makybe.
Starspangledbanner is the third foal of stakes-placed Gold Anthem, whose dam National Anthem is a half-sister to Group One AJC Australian Oaks winner Circles of Gold, renowned as the dam of champion racehorses Elvstroem and Haradasun.
Gold Anthem has a two year-old filly by Royal Academy (USA) that made $120,000 at Magic Millions earlier this year, a yearling filly by Rock of Gibraltar (IRE) and was covered last spring by Makybe's first season sire Purrealist.
Starspangledbanner becomes the first Australian stakes-winner for the new season for Choisir (pictured) and is his 17th stakes-winner worldwide.
Tara Madgwick BREEDNET
Saturday, 15 August 2009