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Baxter to put Solar Star back through Magic Millions ring

Owner-breeder enjoying on-track success with scaled-back thoroughbred interests

By Tim Rowe - ANZ News

Saturday’s Gai Waterhouse Classic (Listed, 1350m) winner Solar Star (Zoustar) will go through the Magic Millions sales ring for the second time in as many years despite her trainer Tony Gollan believing the mare has more to give on the track.

Well-known owner-breeder John Baxter, who bought out his partners in the then

Anthony Freedman-trained Solar Star at last year’s Gold Coast broodmare sale, will resist the temptation to withdraw the rising fiveyear-old from next week’s National auction after her career-best performance.

Racing under the Ruane Menangle banner, Baxter paid $105,000 for Solar Star and placed her with Brisbane’s leading stable, a move that has netted four wins including the weekend’s success at Ipswich, which is worth far more to the value of the Zoustar (Northern Meteor) mare than just the $72,500 in prizemoney. Baxter was delighted with the way the past 14 months had turned out for Solar Star.

“You plan these things and when they come off you clap your hands a little bit,” Baxter told ANZ Bloodstock News yesterday. “I already had 20 per cent of her when she went into the ring and I bought her outright. She always showed potential and she was always very honest and I thought Queensland might be her spot.

“She did win at Moonee Valley one night and she won a couple of other races for Anthony down there and when the syndicate decided to sell her I bought her outright with the idea of racing her in Queensland. I thought it was a bit weaker up there, particularly the sprint races over 1000 and 1200 metres.

“Tony seems to think that she’s just about at her distance now at 1350-1400 (metres) even where the pace comes off and she can dictate a bit.”

While unclear how much the Gai Waterhouse Classic win has added to Solar Star’s value, Baxter will be prepared to retain her if she does not meet reserve.

“Tony’s speaking that way this morning saying ‘she’s never been better than now’ and that she could race on, but he’s going to give her a spell either way,” he said.

“We know what she’s about now and she’s so genuine and honest -that is the thing about her - and she’s only a rising five-year-old so could probably race on.

“That will all be determined by the bidding and I will race her on or breed with her (if she doesn’t meet reserve).”

Solar Star, who was selected by BBA Ireland’s Adrian Nicoll at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale and made $190,000, will be consigned by Milburn Creek as Lot 76 while the Southern Highlands operation will also offer the Baxter-owned Arabian Beauty (Shamardal) next week.

Catalogued as Lot 541, Arabian Beauty is being offered in foal to Rubick (Encosta De Lago) while her first foal to race, the Toby and Trent Edmonds-trained Farasan (Sebring), finished third in a hot Sunshine Coast maiden yesterday.

Baxter to put Solar Star back through Magic Millions ring Monday, July 20, 2020

The above average two-year-old fillies maiden was taken out by the highly rated Gollan-trained Bleu Zebra (I Am Invincible) while Winning Rupert’s (Written Tycoon)

sister Tycoon Evie was runner-up at her first start.

“We had Arabian Beauty with Peter Moody and when she finished racing I bought her outright as I had the mother of her (Marchelle Belle) and her grandmother Life Goes On Oh,” he said.

Baxter, who sold his stud farm Ruane at Menangle and dispersed his broodmare band and stock numbering about 80 about five years ago, now has six broodmares and shares in a few racehorses as a hobby.

Despite his industry involvement being on a much smaller scale, the former winemaker continues to enjoy success in the sales ring and on the track

He races the talented Gerald Ryan-trained three times stakesplaced rising three-year-old filly Time Is Precious (Snitzel) as well as retaining a 20 per cent share in the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Argenteus (Written Tycoon), a colt he bred and sold at last year’s Magic Millions sale for $900,000 to the James Harron Bloodstock colts syndicate.

Argenteus ran third in a Randwick barrier trial on July 10 in an effort that has Baxter excited about the spring.

“He’s a two-year-old by Written Tycoon out of one of my mares called Golden Penny,” he said.

“He’s a beautiful horse who trialled the other day and he will trial again this week with the idea of the spring races for him.”

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