Star Turn has been retired to Vinery Stud and he bows out with a ringing endorsement from trainer John Hawkes.
“It’s a stellar crop of three year-olds this season and Star Turn was a brilliant athlete with superb on-pace speed. He was ‘push-button’ and a real racehorse.”
Star Turn demonstrated his natural precocity from an early age by taking out the ATC Pierro Plate in October. He then went on to run in the principal Group 1 two year old races, the Blue Diamond Stakes and the Golden Slipper.
Hawkes is without peer among Australian training ranks and he kicked off the colt’s three year-old spring campaign with a dominant victory in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill last August.
He produced a breathtaking turn of foot to turn the tables on Capitalist who had beaten him in the Group 1 Golden Slipper. “Capitalist was the benchmark but Star Turn has come on and matured,” Michael Hawkes declared. “He’s bigger, stronger and is switched on which makes the difference.”
Sent to Melbourne, Star Turn showed another brilliant burst of acceleration to defeat older horses at weight-for-age in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield in a slick 1:02.89. “Dad thought it was the right race for him,” Wayne Hawkes said. “He was up against some serious older Group 1 horses today and he gave them a short, back and sides.”
Star Turn signed off his Spring campaign with an unlucky third in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington. He led all the way before going down narrowly to late chargers Flying Artie and Astern.
When the dust had settled, John Hawkes put the result into perspective. “Give us the winner’s run and we win, simple as that.”
In the Autumn Star Turn again met older horses, placing in three Group 1 sprints, the Lightning Stakes, Newmarket Handicap and William Reid Stakes.
Vinery’s General Manager Peter Orton said Star Turn had always been on the stud’s radar as a potential stallion prospect. “We had been tracking him since his first win as an early 2yo at Randwick but it was his 3yo campaign that impressed us the most. He’s the colt we rated of the current crop to stand at Vinery.
“He has pedigree, performance and physique, all essential qualities we look for in a stallion.”
Renowned horseman Alan Bell bought the exceptional looking colt for $400,000 as a yearling and he will remain in the ownership group. “The Vinery partners have an extensive, quality broodmare band and actively support their stallions,” he said. “That will ensure Star Turn gets the best of opportunities.”
Star Turn is out of a proven speed pedigree. His emerging sire Star Witness won the Group 1 MRC Blue Diamond Stakes at two and VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes at three over 1200m. Star Witness was crowned Champion 2nd season sire by winners in 2015-16 while the performances of both Star Turn and Group 1 MRC Thousand Guineas / ATC Flight Stakes winner Global Glamour have him on top of the 3rd season sires table by earnings this season.
Golden Delicious, the dam of Star Turn also possessed tremendous speed, having won 13 races in total, five being stakes races between 1000m and 1200m. The Star Kingdom line mare has produced four to race thus far for four winners, including the multiple stakes performed Straight Gold and Hilton Head, dam of this season’s promising juvenile Eden Roc.
Star Turn will soon arrive at Vinery Stud and will stand for service fee of $22,000 for his first season at stud in 2017.