Talented Starcraft gelding Blizzard has finally broken through for a Group win in Hong Kong after Group 1 placings last season.
Blizzard, bred by Victoria’s GSA Bloodstock, the operation of Jonathan Munz, scored in the Group 3 Chinese Challenge Cup on New Year’s Day.
The Ricky Yiu trained five year-old won by nearly two lengths over the 1400 metre trip and is now being prepared for an elusive Group 1 win.
“We’ll definitely be looking at Group 1 races, but I don’t know which distance – I haven’t really decided where he’ll go next, I need to sit down and talk to the syndicate,” Yiu said.
“He showed last season that he’s pretty versatile, he ran all the way up to 2000 metres in the Derby and he’s shown his ability at 1400, a mile, 1800 – at this moment, I can’t say for sure where I’ll put him next time. We need to sit down and think about it.”
Blizzard was bought by Yiu for $75,000 at the2013 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale in Melbourne and now has earnings just shy of AU$2 million.
He is the best of two winners from Stormy Choice, a Redoute’s Choice three-quarter sister to Group 1 winner Danestorm.
Blizzard is the 16th stakes-winner for Rosemont based sire Starcraft (Soviet Star).
Progeny of the Rosemont sire have an imposing record in Hong Kong this season. From nine runners, he has had six winners and is in the top four sires of Hong Kong racehorses.
“They are flying in Hong Kong,” Caulfield trainer Robert Smerdon commented to G1X Bloodstock about the progeny of Starcraft.
Smerdon trains for prolific Hong Kong based syndicator Price Bloodstock. Their horses include recent 2yo Caulfield runner up Property, a son of Starcraft.
“It is an unforgiving environment there and if you have a horse with problems those problems are magnified in Hong Kong. The Starcrafts are just so tough, mentally and physically, and they are talented horses.”
With this in mind, no doubt the two yearlings on offer at the Gold Coast this week and the nine yearlings catalogued for the Inglis Classic and Premier Sales will sell well indeed.