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Banner day for Coolmore Star

4 min read
In the space of 60 mins on Saturday, the story of Starspangledbanner took another remarkable turn with feature winners in Sydney and Melbourne.

Thrillster and Home Of The Brave wrote another chapter in the remarkable story of their sire Starspangledbanner (Aus) on Saturday, with respective black-type wins at Moonee Valley and Rosehill.

With his career as a stallion at Coolmore, where he stands for $11,000, now on a massive upswing after his much-publicised fertility issues, he doubled his number of Australian stakewins in the space of an hour when Home of the Brave won the G2 Theo Marks S. and Thrillster took out the Listed Atlantic Jewel S.

Starspangledbanner

"We've always had great faith in the horse, really ever since he started his stud career," Coolmore's Sales and Nominations Manager Paddy Oman said.

"As everyone knows, he's had his career hindered by fertility issues, but they have been alleviated now and winners like those he had today give great promise for the future."

The connection both horses have to their sire runs much deeper than their genetics.

Home Of The Brave, one of only 33 foals from Starspangledbanner's first Northern Hemisphere crop, was originally purchased as yearling by Troy Corstens, son of Starspangledbanner's trainer Leon, and agent Justin Bahen at the 2013 Arqana Deauville yearling sale.

"We raced him with a group of Australian owners with Hugo Palmer in England. We were always thinking of bringing him out here and then Hugo did the deal with Godolphin and we sold to them (in May 2016)," Corstens said.

Home Of The Brave as a yearling at the 2013 Arqana Deauville August sale

The connection through Thrillster is even stronger, with Troy and Leon Corstens training the 3-year-old filly and Rosemont Stud among the ownership.

Starspangledbanner was bred and raised on Rosemont's property at Gnarwarre - then under the ownership of Makybe, and it was back on this farm outside Geelong that he rediscovered his mojo after his infamously difficult start to his breeding career.

"It was great to have Thrillster win in the manner she did for her connections who were partners with us in Starspangledbanner and were tremendously patient and showed great perseverance with him," Oman said.

"It’s a great result for Anthony Mithen, Nigel Austin and all the team at Rosemont to have their faith in the horse rewarded with what looks a brilliant filly."

"She looks like she is only going to enhancce her sire's record going forward over the next nine to twelve months." - Paddy Oman

"It was an outstanding performance, she looks one of the leading fancies for the Thousand Guineas and she looks like she is only going to enhance her sire's record going forward over the next nine to twelve months."

The future is also extremely bright for Home of The Brave, with trainer James Cummings revealing that the remaining slot holders for The Everest had already been in contact about the import running in the $13 million race.

Even if he doesn’t take on the world's richest turf race, he is set for Group 1 assignments in the near future, with Cummings suggesting the G1 Sir Rupert Clarke S was a likely next destination.

A Group 1 win would be a huge fillip for Starspangledbanner's stud career.

"Home of the Brave was a high class horse in Europe and looks to be even better still in Australia," Oman said.

"To beat horses of the calibre of D'Argento and Trapeze Artist, mark him down as a potential Group 1 winner in this part of the world."

Home Of The Brave winning the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes

For Corstens, a marquee day like Saturday vindicates all the faith those involved with the stallion have had in him since he first went to stud in 2011.

"I've always had enormous faith in Starspangledbanner as a stallion and I think had he not had his issues, he would have been even better than he has been. But his stakewinners to runners is phenomenal," Corstens said.

Starspangledbanner's previous stakewinner in Australia was Of The Brave, who won his first two races as a 2-year-old before going amiss ahead of his three-year-old season and not getting back to the track.