THERE was a pleasure to winning but when the brilliant filly Sunlight led home a Zoustar trifecta in Saturday’s stallion-making Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington it brought pain to the pocket.
Widden Stud’s Antony Thompson stood next to the successful owner, his wife, Katie, at the presentation, the smiles on their faces masking the financial reality when it comes to this business.
Sunlight ($5.50), the Magic Millions Classic winner, had her Group 1 victory from the colt Zousain ($3.40) by a half-neck, with another colt, Lean Mean Machine ($10), a length back in third.
Widden and Qatar Bloodstock had the quinella in the three-year-old Group 1 from their stallion Zoustar, but it was bittersweet.
“We talked about it this morning,” Katie Thompson said.
“That the colt can have 200 babies and the filly only one.
“When it came to the 100m mark, I actually started cheering for the colt.
“I’m not going to be popular at home for a couple of weeks.”
Widden had bought a share in Zousain at the beginning of the spring and his day will surely come in a Group 1.
It was a triumph for 2013 Coolmore Stud winner Zoustar – and Katie Thompson was delighted holding the trophy after the presentation.
“I thought that my best day at the races was when Zoustar won this race, because we bought him the day before,” she said.
“This will take some topping because I owned this filly.”
Husband Antony could only add “in my wildest dreams I didn’t think Zoustar could have the trifecta in this race, but I would have liked the neck to be the other way”.
Sunlight’s trainer Tony McEvoy had only decided to back up Sunlight after she had no luck in the Manikato Stakes as favourite.
He had used the same week back-up for the Magic Millions victory and her third in the Golden Slipper.
It again had Sunlight at her best, and she became a fourth generation winner of the Coolmore after Encosta De Lago started the tradition before siring Northern Meteor, which produced Zoustar.
Sunlight jumped to the front and eye-balled Written By for the first 400m before beating him off and then had to face the challenge of Zousain off her back.
“That was amazing,” McEvoy said.
“She was there for them to beat her but she is so brave and just fought them off, and they were never going to beat her.
“It was very courageous and shows the quality of this filly.”
Jockey Luke Currie said he was confident a long way from home.
“She flew out,” he explained.
“I wasn’t sure whether I’d ride to lead Written By or he’d lead us.
“He was quite quick too and she came back off it to relax.
“I knew she was going to be strong when she hadn’t spent any petrol getting to the 400m.
“She just wasn’t going to be beaten.”
James McDonald couldn’t have ridden a better race on Zousain and thought he was the winner when he mounted his challenge.
“We had a beautiful run,” he said.
“He idled up and I thought he was the one, but the filly just fought us off too much.”
The pain for Chris Waller was a little more acute as he thought that Zousain was going to win at the 200m.
“You see him coming at her and think yes,” Waller said.
“But, she was too strong.
“You don’t fluke running second and third in Group 1s.
“Zousain has three seconds now.
“His day will come.”