Doing it in style

6 min read
Zoustyle is tearing up the Queensland Summer Racing Carnival and the man who deserves particular credit, according to his owners, is John Foote.

At the heart of the success of unbeaten rising star Zoustyle (Zoustar) has been the sterling work of bloodstock agent John Foote, according to the colt's part-owner Des Whybird.

Foote is the man who sourced Zoustyle's dam Fashion (Ger) (Anabaa {USA}) out of the Tattersalls December Mares Sale six years ago and is also the man who decided to send her to then freshman sire Zoustar.

The result for Whybird's Desharon Bloodstock, which he owns with his wife Sharon, and Stableboard Bloodstock, managed by their good friends Russell Board and Narelle Ivers, has been a 3-year-old whose form in the Brisbane summer carnival has set tongues wagging across the country.

"John Foote looks after his clients and he shows great judgement." - Zoustyle's part-owner, Des Whybird

"That's why you if you are going to do something like that, I would think in any business venture, you need to get good advice, and thankfully we have John Foote on board for that," Whybird told TDN AusNZ.

"John Foote looks after his clients and he shows great judgement."

Foote paid 55,000 guineas for Fashion, who had been stakes-placed in Germany having won by seven lengths on debut. Whybird had only been in the breeding game for a couple of years at that stage but was happy to take Foote's advice on importing the broodmare.

She went to Snitzel in her first season and that filly, named Faustine, fetched $85,000 as a yearling and won one of her five starts for Kris Lees.

When it came to finding the right stallion for her second time around, Widden's new addition Zoustar appealed to Foote and the result was a colt, who now as a gelding, is writing his own history among the stallion's amazing first crop.

Bloodstock agent John Foote at the recent Arqana Breeding Sale

A perfect five

Zoustyle's fifth straight win, his first at stakes level, was in the Listed Gold Edition S. at Doomben on Saturday as he sizzled around the Doomben track in 1:08.23, just 0.35s outside of the track record set by Takeover Target (Celtic Swing {GB}).

He is one of only two racehorses that Desharon and Stableboard own, with the majority of the progeny of their nine broodmares going through the sales.

Zoustyle was set to go the same way until he encountered a couple of setbacks as a yearling and was withdrawn from both the Gold Coast Magic Millions Sale and the Inglis Easter Sale.

"He had a bit of a problem and we didn't think it was wise to put him in the sales. We always thought he was a lovely horse and we always thought he was a beautiful thoroughbred. We were happy to keep him. We didn’t mind withholding him from the sales," Whybird said.

Trainer Tony Gollan revealed after Zoustyle's most recent win that he had failed the x-ray tests when he was set to be sold to Hong Kong.

"There is one of those stories every year. It is an example of how it isn't the end of the world if they fail an x-ray." - Trainer, Tony Gollan

"There is one of those stories every year. It is an example of how it isn't the end of the world if they fail an x-ray," Gollan said.

Subsequent to Zoustyle, Fashion has produced a filly by Choisir, who is sure to create plenty of interest at the Easter Yearling Sale in 2019, and more recently, a colt by Sebring.

"He's a very nice foal. We saw him a month ago and he's a lovely colt. He arrived early in August, so he's four months old, already," Whybird said.

Zoustyle is by Widden stallion, Zoustar

Just two retained to race

The other horse they have retained to race is the mare Teodora (Teofilo {Ire}), who has won two of 11 for Darren Weir and ran third in the G3 SA Fillies Classic in May.

She is out of the stakes-placed mare So Divine (NZ) (High Chaparral {Ire}) who Foote bought on their behalf at the 2012 NZB Weanling, Broodmare and Mixed Sale for NZ$135,000.

Subsequent to Teodora, she has produced the filly Re Edit (Camelot {GB}) who sold for $340,000 through the Arrowfield draft at the 2017 Easter Sale to Northern Farm and recently debuted with an impressive win at Warwick Farm.

Re Edit was a $340,000 Inglis Easter purchase who recently won on debut

"Re Edit, the Camelot filly we bred, which is with Chris Waller, that's another example of how good John Foote is," Whybird said.

"There's been a lot written about it. Camelot was only out here for one year but John made sure one of our mares went to Camelot and Re Edit is the result of that."

Back at Tatts

Emboldened by the success of Fashion and So Divine as broodmares, Foote was back at the Tatts Sale earlier this month sourcing a High Chaparral mare for Desharon and Stableboard.

They paid 50,000 Guineas for Di Alta (Ire), a winner of two of 12 races and a half-sister to Group 1 placegetter Dibayani (Ire) (Shamardal (USA)}.

While breeding and selling is the main aim, with a success like Zoustyle, it’s conceivable that Whybird and his partners may think about racing a few more of their own.

John Foote recently purchased a mare by High Chaparral from Tattersalls

Keeping the lid on

As for the star himself, while the ratings experts have Zoustyle up there with Group 1 class, Whybird is in no rush. As a gelding, there is plenty of time for him to reach his peak.

"Who knows what's in store for him. We just want to look after him and do our very best for him," he said.

"That's the case for all our broodmares and all of the ones we breed. It’s a great industry, racing, it employs a lot of people. There's a lot of people with passion who work through the industry and it's wonderful to be a part of it."

"Who knows what's in store for him. We just want to look after him and do our very best for him." - Des Whybird

Whybird is particularly pleased to have Gollan and his team entrusted with the task of taking care of Zoustyle.

"Russell and Narelle and Sharon and I are just really grateful of the way they are looking after Zoustyle. We're really pleased with how they are taking care of him," he said.

"He's got a great team. Holly (Williams), his racing manager, she's wonderful and Wayne the strapper, he takes amazing care of the horse. I should mention Brad Stewart. He's ridden the horse in every race, he's ridden it in trackwork. He's absolutely devoted and doing a fantastic job."