Stakes Success for 2023 Ready to Run Sale-Topper

16 June 2024

Megastar Heart 

Megastar Heart (Star Turn) stole the show with a sale-topping price of $825,000 at the 2023 Ready to Run Sale at Karaka last November, and seven months later he became a black-type winner in Saturday’s A$160,000 Listed SEN Oxlade Stakes (1300m) at Eagle Farm.

Purchased by Solari Bloodstock on behalf of Hong Kong owner Mr Pato Leung, Megastar Heart is trained by Annabel Neasham and has now had four starts for two wins, a placing and A$139,850 in stakes.

The classy colt began his career with a second placing in late April and a win in May, then went straight on to the big stage and lined up in the A$1m Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 1 in only his third start. He finished eighth that day after having to press forward from a wide gate.

Megastar Heart drew wide again for Saturday’s Oxlade Stakes, jumping from gate 13 in a 14-horse field. But jockey James McDonald rode him like the best horse in the race and was unfazed about sitting wide for most of the journey.

McDonald balanced him up at the home turn and went for gold, and Megastar Heart strode purposefully into the lead.

Embassy (I Am Invincible) got a dream run along the rail and burst through to set up a head-bobbing battle to the finish, but Megastar Heart returned everything Embassy threw at him and snatched a superb victory by a head.

“He was really good, that was a very tough effort today,” McDonald said. “He kept his momentum building and was strong late, so he’s a nice horse. I think the second horse is pretty good too and it was a good battle down the straight. It bodes well for the future for both horses.”

Neasham holds Megastar Heart in enormously high regard.

“I’d say this one is right up there with the nicest two-year-olds that I’ve had,” she said. “It was always going to be tricky from that draw today, but it was a very good win and he’s a beautiful colt. I’ve just got to persuade his owner to keep him in Australia for another year, rather than whisking him off to Hong Kong now.

“I think he’ll be better again next year. He’s just very natural and a really, really nice colt.”

Last November’s Ready to Run Sale has already produced five two-year-old winners this season including two at stakes level. Domain Ace (NZ) (Swiss Ace) became the first member of that black-type club with his Listed Star Way Stakes (1200m) success at Ellerslie in April.

The other winning Ready to Run graduates are the Australian-based two-year-olds Feroce (NZ) (Super Seth), Khadime (Star Turn) and Perfumist (NZ) (El Roca).

Vendor KB Bloodstock
Purchaser Mr Pato Leung / Solari Bloodstock (Hong Kong) 
Breeding Star Turn – Commonwealth
Sale Lot 376, 2023 Ready to Run Sale, $825,000
Bred by Dr I Duckworth