The announcement that former top sprinter Starspangledbanner is to return to the racetrack because of fertility problems at stud opens up the remote possibility of a meeting with super star Black Caviar at Newmarket in July.


Starspangledbanner winning the Oakleigh Plate in 2010 - photo © Taron Clarke

The undefeated world’s best sprinter Black Caviar is heading to Adelaide on the weekend to stretch her unbeaten run to twenty-one in the Group 1 $500,000 The Distinctive Homes Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville before heading off overseas.

Trainer Peter Moody has earmarked the Group 1 £500,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot on June 23 and could extend her stay for the Group 1 £400,000 Darley July Cup (1207m) at Newmarket on July 14.

The July 14 date could give champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien sufficient time to prepare Starspangledbanner for the third leg of the Global Sprint Challenge which has attracted fifty-seven entries from across the globe.

The five year old was sold to Coolmore after winning the 2009 Group 1 Caulfield Guineas and the 2010 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate for Melbourne trainer Leon Corstens.

He was then taken over by O’Brien to win the 2010 Group 1 £255,465 Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot (1200m) and the 2010 Group 1 £227,080 Darley July Cup (1207m) at Newmarket.

“Due to ongoing fertility issues which have not improved as much as hoped, it was decided not to shuttle Starspangledbanner this year,” Coolmore announced.

“A decision on his future will be made later this month but it is possible that he may go back into training at Ballydoyle.”

Other Group 1 winners from Australia in the July Cup list are Group 1 William Reid Stakes winner Foxwedge and the Paul Messara trained Ortensia who has won at her last three starts including her latest win in Dubai in the Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) at Meydan on March 31.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.