Cool­more a fam­ily af­fair for Sun­light and Zous­tar’s crop


TONY McEvoy was con­tent to play party pooper yes­ter­day when his star filly, Sun­light, put a tem­po­rary halt on the stal­lion-mak­ing as­pi­ra­tions of a hand­ful of bril­liant colts by tak­ing out the $1 mil­lion Group 1 Cool­more Stud Stakes.

Sun­light’s gritty vic­tory also de­liv­ered an in­cred­i­ble tri­fecta in the race for her father, Zous­tar - from his first crop - and also car­ried on an ex­tra­or­di­nary four-gen­er­a­tion fam­ily tra­di­tion in this event.

The only filly in the race, Sun­light ($5.50) was handy from the start and put the early pres­sure on Writ­ten By ($4), be­fore hold­ing off a fast-fin­ish­ing Zou­sain ($3.40 favourite), to win by a half-neck.

Lean Mean Ma­chine ($10) was a length away third.

“I am happy to win any race, and I un­der­stand the mea­sure for what this race can do for a colt,” an elated McEvoy said.

“But, look, when you have a filly as good as she is, why not back her up? This showed that if she had the luck last week she would have won the Manikato (Stakes).

“She has al­ways had plenty of fight. They all had their chance to beat her. She was coura­geous – she is a star.”

Sun­light has now won eight of her 12 starts, in­clud­ing this year’s Magic Mil­lions, with the Cool­more vic­tory push­ing her through the $3 mil­lion prize­money bracket.

Sun­light capped off an amaz­ing fam­ily run in this race. Zous­tar, won the Cool­more in 2013, and his father, North­ern Me­teor, claimed the race in 2008.

And North­ern Me­teor’s sire, En­costa De Lago, won the race when it was a Group 2 in its pre­vi­ous guise as the As­cot Vale Stakes.

Wid­den Stud’s Antony Thomp­son, who stands Zous­tar for a $60,500 ser­vice fee, was con­flicted in the Cool­more Stud Stakes, hav­ing bred Sun­light but own­ing a share of run­ner-up Zou­sain.

Vic­tory could have made a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar dif­fer­ence to Zou­sain’s worth as a stal­lion, but Thomp­son is cer­tain the three­time Group 1 run­ner would have his mo­ment in the sun.

“We al­ways thought Zous­tar would be a star at stud and to have three run­ners from his first crop in this race was a great achieve­ment,” Thomp­son said. “But to tri­fecta it is next level.’’

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