Troy Corstens might have been lamenting his stable’s luck of late but there was no doubting the trainer’s eye for a horse following the win of Thrillster in the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes at The Valley on Saturday.
Just an hour before the Starspangledbanner filly set up a tilt at next month’s Group 1 Thousand Guineas, another of the stallion’s progeny, which had also been purchased by Corstens as a yearling in the northern hemisphere, scored an impressive win in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill.
Corstens and bloodstock agent Justin Bahen purchased Home Of The Brave as a yearling before selling out to Godolphin, who later decided to send the horse to James Cummings to train in Australia.
Home Of The Brave’s win was so impressive there was talk around that he might have come under scrutiny from the two remaining slot-holders for next month’s The Everest.
If so, Corstens will have purchased two of The Everest runners as yearlings.
“Justin Bahen and I bought him together as a yearling in France and he cost 80,000 Euro,” Corstens explained.
“We bought Santa Ana Lane as well as a yearling so we might have two horses get to The Everest.”
Corstens said Home Of The Brave had always shown great potential.
“We raced him with a group of Australian owners with Hugo Palmer in England. We were always thinking of bringing him out here and then Hugo did the deal with Godolphin and we sold to them.
“I can certainly buy them. I’ve just got to hang onto them.”
Corstens did keep a share in Thrillster, who cost $60,000 as a yearling at the Melbourne Premier Sales and Saturday’s win took her earnings beyond $430,000 from just her fifth race start.
Corstens explained that he and his father Leon had experienced a lean patch of late due to a bug.
“We’ve had a bit of a bad run over the past six months,” he said. “We haven’t kept it a secret. We’ve had a bug go through the stables. Temperatures popping up here and there so it’s nice to get over it.”
Corstens said he was confident Thrillster could break the drought after her trackwork during the week.
“Stephen Baster galloped her Tuesday morning and he said she won’t get beaten and I thought Noel (Callow) rode her perfectly.”
Callow positioned Thrillster ($7.50) just off the pace and she was able to outsprint her rivals in the run to the line to hold Humma Humma ($8), who edged out Krone ($41) narrowly.
Corstens said connections had some choices to make next week.
“She’s still in the Golden Rose so maybe we could go there in a couple of weeks but she does look like a Thousand Guineas horse so we’ll have a think about it,” he said.