With the crowd still buzzing after the record-breaking fourth Cox Plate victory of Winx, Sun Stud’s Melbourne Cup hero Fiorente (IRE) chose a good time to record his first stakes-winner when Robbie Laing’s Victoria Derby bound colt Stars Of Carrum broke his maiden in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase over 2040m.
A fast rise to Group fame, Stars Of Carrum was beaten in a Bairnsdale maiden two starts back, but was a hard-charging second in the Listed Hill Smith Stakes (1800m) at his most recent start.
“That was no surprise, he should have won the Hill Smith Stakes,” Laing said, and with clear running in the Stutt Stakes he probably runs second to Leonardo da Hinchi.”
Being the only horse Laing purchased at the 2017 Melbourne Premier Sales, Stars Of Carrum was a $75,000 yearling out of the Sun Stud draft and is co-owned by racing enthusiast Peter Cox and a few crew at Carrum Football Club who Laing used to play with.
“We had a back to Carrum night and Cox got up on a chair and said lets back Laingy and buy a share in this horse, he reckons he can win a Derby with it. We are a week away and he will be one of the favourites.”
Sired by Group 1 Melbourne Cup and Group 1 Australian Cup winner Fiorente (IRE) he is a son of Monsun, who has written himself into Melbourne Cup history as the sire of three of the past five winners.
Sun Stud’s Mark Lindsay believes Monsun’s bloodlines can reinvigorate the staying breed in Australia in the coming years.
“It was what we hoped would happen. We thought with the breed, and the Monsun line, he would succeed once his runners neared 2000m. It’s a huge boost for Fiorente with Stars Of Carrum being part of his first crop.” he said.
Lindsay said that the depth of 3-year-old staying races up until this point had made it difficult for Fiorente’s progeny to make an impact until recently, but three winners in two weeks has given the stallion a timely boost.
“It was just a case of lack of opportunity down here for horses who are looking to get out over distance as a 3-year old. When you are standing staying sires, there are very few 2-year old races at a mile and above and then as a 3-year old, you’ve only got 10 or so races before Christmas where you can run over 2000m and further,” he said,
Stars Of Carrum now heads to one of the feature races of the spring, the Group 1 Victoria Derby, along with another of Fiorente’s first crop, the Robbie Griffiths-trained Alessandro, a recent winner against the older horses at Cranbourne.
“Yesterday was a bit of a jackpot for us, with the Derby the week after. If Alessandro and Stars of Carrum can be there, that’d be pretty good. We’ve sold the story and sold what we need to.” Lindsay said.
Fiorente is the only son of Monsun standing in Australia and is currently covering his fifth book of mares at Sun Stud for a fee of $17,600, while Stars Of Carrum dam, the 7-time winning Anabaa mare Signoret is from the family of Jameela, the Group 2 SAJC Marsh Classic winner and Group 1 South Australian Oaks runner-up. Signoret’s filly by Fighting Sun made $115,000 to the bid of Ellerton Zahra Racing at the 2016 Premier Yearling Sale and is now currently in foal to Sun Stud’s Palentino.