First Winner For Starspangledbanner

Fertility troubled former glamour sprinter Starspangledbanner has had his issues in the breeding barn, but with his first runner a winner at Ascot overnight in the UK the efforts to revitalise his stud career made by Rosemont Stud in Victoria may well be rewarded.

The Mick Channon trained colt Moonraker did best in a competitive finish to win the five furlong maiden by a neck and will now step up in grade as he is entered for the Group I Phoenix Stakes later in the year.

Retained to race by his breeders, Moonraker is a half-brother to Group III winner Bungle Inthejungle and stakes-winner Waveband being the ninth winner from nine foals to race from terrific producer Licence to Thrill.

Proving sub-fertile after starting his stud career with Coolmore, four time Group I winner Starspangledbanner was then returned to work with Aidan O’Brien, but failed to recapture his best form on the track.

Retired again and sent back to Australia, the son of Choisir was installed at Rosemont Stud last year under the care of Anthony Mithen.

All efforts are being made to keep him as a viable stallion and after covering 51 mares last year, enough are in foal to ensure he remains at stud.

Starspanglebdanner had 30 live foals from his first Australian crop born in 2012, which will hit racetracks next season and have sold as yearlings this year for up to $280,000.

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