Starcraft pair ready to go the distance

That a champion miler, by a top-class European sprinter from a mare by the sire of a Golden Slipper winner, should produce brilliant juveniles & 3YO sprinter-milers like Star Witness and Hallowell Belle is really not so surprising.

Yet Starcraft ‘s 2004 Australian Derby victory, although achieved more on class than sheer stamina, has always hinted that he would prove capable of leaving top-class middle distance performers as well.

Pictured: The $380,000 2011 Easter Sale yearling colt by Starcraft from Spirited Dancer, now named Lunar Rise. (PHOTO: Katrina Partridge)

This season his 5YO daughter Crafty Irna, from his first crop, and 3YO son Lunar Rise are set to deliver the required proof as they aim at Group 1 features in Sydney and Melbourne.

The Westbury Stud-bred Crafty Irna has already proven herself adept beyond a mile, winning the 2000-metre ATC Adrian Knox S. G3 as a 3YO, and adding black type placings at 1900, 2000 and 2400 metres last season.

Her victory in last week’s Wyong RC La Gioconda S. over 1600 metres indicated she has progressed well enough for trainer Ron Quinton to aim her with confidence at The Metropolitan G1 over Randwick’s 2400 metres on 6 October.

Of course, Crafty Irna’s supply of stamina is supported by her high-class mother, Singapore Horse of the Year Zirna (by Deputy Governor) whose 7 wins included the Singapore Gold Cup Sgp-1 over 2200 metres. (Incidentally, Zirna foals to Snitzel this spring.)

The staying credentials of 3YO gelding Lunar Rise are even more impressive. He is from the unraced Sadler’s Wells mare Spirited Dancer, whose close relatives include champion Peintre Celebre, and Group winners Peinture Bleue, Peinture Rare, Pontilliste, Pushkin & Policy Maker – all accomplished middle distance performers in Europe.

Lunar Rise was bred by Arrowfield and purchased from the 2011 Inglis Easter Sale for $380,000 by Duncan Ramage, and is trained by Bart Cummings for Dato Tan Chin Nam and Tunku Ahmad Yahaya. The Cummings stable is most famous for 12 Melbourne Cup victories, but also has 32 Derby successes on its Roll of Honour, five of them at Flemington, although none more recent than Omnicorp’s 1987 Victoria Derby.

Starcraft has not yet seen many mares by Sadler’s Wells or his sons, but it is a mating Arrowfield has been happy to repeat. Spirited Dancer has a 2YO filly by Starcraft, and is foaling to him again this spring before visiting Gio Ponti (USA) .

After two unplaced runs in strong city company at two, and a 7th at Hawkesbury on 1 August, Lunar Rise has become a serious Derby contender, breaking his maiden at Kembla Grange on 18 August, and scoring by almost 5 lengths over 1500 metres at Newcastle last Saturday.

Starcraft, already the sire of 12 stakeswinners and ten other stakes performers, stands at a fee of $27,500 inc. GST in 2012.

Latest news

The proof is in the numbers The proof is in the numbers

Three years ago we alerted breeders that Dundeel's stud career was about to take off. Now Maurice is in the same position & here are the numbers to prove it...


Willinga Beast salutes for Snitzel Willinga Beast salutes for Snitzel

Arrowfield's 4YO home-bred mare Willinga Beast gave her champion sire Snitzel his 145th career stakeswinner in Saturday's Hinkler H. LR at Eagle Farm...


Hitotsu’s talent meets abundant opportunity Hitotsu’s talent meets abundant opportunity

Talent & opportunity are the twin drivers of great stallion careers and Hitotsu has an abundance of both...