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India joins Eustace before heading to Australia

Wed 10th Aug 2022, 08:30

Star Of India
© Photo Healy Racing

Dee Stakes winner Star Of India has a new home, with Harry Eustace overseeing his short transitional period in Newmarket, before heading to Australia to join Annabel Neasham later in the year.

The Galileo colt was in the care of Aidan O’Brien when striking on the Roodee in May, with victory in that Listed contest enough to earn him a place on the Ballydoyle Derby teamsheet for Epsom.

However, he never got to grips with the twists and turns of the Surrey Downs in the Premier Classic and was a well-beaten 13th of 17.

That was Star Of India’s last outing for the master of Ballydoyle and to continue the current trend of top British and Irish talent heading overseas, he has been snapped up by Australian owners, with the Melbourne Cup a possible target for new connections later in the season.

In the meantime it is Eustace that is playing the role of landlord for the colt and the Royal Ascot-winning handler has the option to run the horse in his name while he spends his summer at Park Lodge Stables if he sees fit.

He has highlighted a pair of Group Three options, but one race that will not be on the cards is the Group Two Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes, for which the three-year-old is already among the entries.

“No he won’t be going to York. He came to us but I didn’t have authority at the time to take him out, that was still with Aidan’s office,” said Eustace.

“He has bought by an ownership group to head to Annabel Neasham in Australia and the plan is to run him up here before entering quarantine to go to either Melbourne or Sydney.”

“There’s no pressure for me to run him, but if I’m happy with him he’s good to run. We’ll take a bit of time with him and get to know him and there’s a couple of options at either Windsor or in France later in the season.

“There’s a mile-and-a quarter Group Three at Windsor (Winter Hill Stakes, August 27) and there is the Prix du Prince d’Orange (ParisLongchamp, September 4), a three-year-old-only 12-furlong Group Three.

Eustace also revealed his Royal Ascot winner Latin Lover is no longer with him having been sold to race in Hong Kong.

The hammer came down at 210,000 guineas for the Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes winner and Eustace was delighted to see owners Candour House And Partner earn a tidy reward that could encourage them to stay in the ownership ranks for a few more years, at a time when prize-money and the cost of racehorse ownership is under persistent scrutiny.

He continued: “They thought about selling him at the end of last year and I sort of suggested to hold on, I just felt there was a bit more to come and they should wait until the July Sales. Obviously I didn’t envisage him doing what he did, but at the same time they were quite keen to keep the plan the same.

“They will almost certainly go back in, but now they can afford to do it for two or three years without having to dip into their pocket.”