Starspangledbanner returns to Rosemont for 2019 at a fee of $22,000
The Victorian bloodstock industry was given a major boost yesterday
after it was confirmed that multiple Group 1-winner Starspanglebanner
(Choisir) will return to Rosemont Stud for the forthcoming southern
hemisphere breeding season.
Starspangledbanner previously shuttled to the Gnarwarre-based
outfit for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 breeding seasons before returning to
Coolmore in 2016, where he initially retired to stud in 2010.
The son of Choisir (Danehill Dancer) encountered fertility issues in the
infancy of his stallion career and, following a failed attempt to recapture
his best form on the track, he was given a change of scenery at Rosemont.
His three crops conceived at Rosemont have generated great success
through the likes of Listed winner Thrillster and talented juvenile Brooklyn
Hustle, who finished fifth in the Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m)
earlier this year.
Starspangledbanner will stand for a fee of $22,000 (inc GST) and his
book will be limited.
“Starspangledbanner is a horse that we have had tremendous
success with and is a fantastic addition to the Victorian stallion ranks,”
Rosemont Stud principal Anthony Mithen said. “We are rapt to have him
back and grateful to Coolmore for keeping us involved.
“At stud, his numbers continue to be extraordinary off relatively low
foal numbers. He has a stakes winners to runners percentage of 8.5 per
cent and that is elite – in the realm of Australia’s very best stallions.
“I Am Invincible, Fastnet Rock and Exceed and Excel all bat at between
8.1 and 8.8 per cent and on that measure he is up there with them and
miles ahead of a lot of unproven stallions standing for much higher fees.”
Mithen was also quick to praise the stallion’s own exploits on the
racecourse, where he accumulated a quartet of top-level victories in the
Caulfield Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m), Oakleigh Plate (Gr 1, 1100m), Golden
Jubilee (Gr 1, 6f) and July Cup (Gr 1, 6f).
“People also forget that the Banner was
a brilliant racehorse, with the unique achievement of winning champion
sprinter titles in both Australia and Europe in successive seasons,” he
“He was a dual Group 1 winner in both hemispheres – again, that is an
achievement reserved for only the very best and, again, it is a record that
far out-strips some of the newer stallions going to stud for much higher
Despite such low numbers, Starspangledbanner’s first northern
hemisphere crop of two-year-olds yielded two Royal Ascot winners in
the shape of Anthem Alexander and the subsequently ill-fated Group 1
winner The Wow Signal.
His current crop of juveniles racing in Europe includes the unbeaten
pair Chasing Dreams and Lady Kermit, both of whom are reportedly bound
for the Queen Mary Stakes (Gr 2, 5f) at Royal Ascot, which was
won by the aforementioned Anthem Alexander in 2014.
With his fertility issues now well behind him, Mithen is understandably delighted
at the prospect of welcoming back to Rosemont later this year.
“We think that this is a fantastic result for Victorian breeders,” he said.
“It is a tough game. Increasingly breeders are stuck with the bleak
choice of either paying massive prices for sires with a good record or
taking a massive punt on a sire whose credentials are unproven in the
breeding barn and, in some cases, on the racetrack as well.
“This is a stallion who won four Group 1s on the track and has a proven
record as a sire of good stakes-winning horses from low numbers to date.
“Best of all, he has done both in Australia as well as Europe and there
is no doubt that as a sire, his best is yet to come.”
Starspangledbanner is currently standing at Coolmore Stud in
Ireland for a fee of €17,500, while Mithen offered some insight into how
Rosemont helped to turn the now 12-year-old’s stallion career around.
He said: “We changed his environment, lightened his work load and
focused heavily on keeping him happy. It helped turn him around and we
increased his fertility to over 60 per cent, which was respectable.
“Thankfully his improvement continued after he returned to Coolmore
and his most recent crop (2017) returned a fertility rate of 87 per cent.
That’s better than “normal”!
“We’ve learned that as long as he isn’t over-worked, there’s nothing
wrong with his fertility.
“The best thing was that we supported him with our own mares. Our
racing team has done really well in the last couple of years, but our best
juvenile runners have all been by the Banner, headed by Thrillster and