Having already proven himself in the northern hemisphere as a sire with a huge reputation, it was amazing to see Starspangledbanner start off in the southern hemisphere on an even better note.
With his ever first ever runner making his debut on Saturday, the Mark Riley trained two-year-old colt Of The Brave had won his only trial impressively leading into his debut, and headed to the races on Saturday to contest the Listed Inglis Debutant Stakes over 1000m first time out.
Starting one of the favourite runners, the Stephen Baster ridden colt jumped straight to the lead and controlled the race from the onset, pulling away to record an extremely impressive one-and-three-quarter length victory from Miss Idyllic, with Miss Loren in third a further length away.
Riley said he rates the son of Starspangledbanner as potentially the best horse he has trained.
Mookta won the 1993 Oakleigh Plate and 1994 Newmarket Handicap for Riley, ironically with Baster in the saddle, but the Mornington-based trainer spoke effusively about Of The Brave’s upside.
“He absolutely donkey licked them. Stephen got off him and he doesn’t get overly excited and he said potentially he’s the best horse he’s ridden,” Riley said.
“The horse just does everything so professionally. First time we took him to the beach, first time to the water walker, first time to the races, he just takes it all in his stride.”
What made the win all that more special for Rosemont Stud was that we consigned the colt at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale for long term clients Saconi Thoroughbreds.
Purchased by his trained for $170,000, Of The Brave showed all the qualities his sired possessed on the track – jump, run, fight and win!
Out of the Rory’s Jester mare Runaway Jesse, the current three-year-old out of the mare is the multiple stakes-winning, fleet footed filly Eloping, and now Of The Brave has come along – what a great result for her breeders. Having foaled a filly by Sepoy this season, we can’t wait to see this filly on the track in a few years!!
In what was another special update for Starspangledbanner on the day, his close relation Amicus won the Group One Thousand Guineas for Chris Waller. Amicus is a Fastnet Rock filly out of Gold Chant, who is an El Moxie half-sister to Starspangledbanner – what a day!