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Turf Talk

Matthew de Kock, as partner in the Robbie Griffiths/Matthew de Kock yard, sent out a winner for his famous father at Australian racing headquarters Flemington in Melbourne today (20 November) and to make the moment more special Mike de Kock and the rest of the family were on course.


The Zoustar three-year-old filly Celestial Storm won the Cl 1 Sprint event over 1000m under Blake Shinn by a comfortable 1,3 lengths to earn a cheque of US$27,500.

She is owned by a big syndicate which includes four prominent South African racing industry people, Mike de Kock, Larry Nestadt, Gary Barber and Lindsay Ralphs with the other owners being Widden Stud Pty Ltd (Mgr: A W Thompson), Ms M A Butler, P T Blair, S Mekertichian, Dr S A Watts, Mrs D Watts, Mrs A McDonnell, J S C Chua & C T Burgess.

Celestial Storm’s sire Zoustar, who stands at Widden Stud, has an impressive profile:

Northern Meteor x Zouzou, by Redoute’s Choice

  • Champion 1st, 2nd and 3rd Season Sire with over $78 million in progeny earnings

  • Sire of 68 Stakes Performers, including Gr.1 winners Sunlight, Mizzy, Zougotcha and Lezoo

  • Now a Gr.1 winning producer in both hemispheres

  • Sire of 30 Stakes performing 2yo’s

  • Yearling average over $447k and the sire of 19 millions dollar plus lots in his career

“He was that good, I could of prepared him for the Golden Slipper however given I thought he was bred to be at his best at Three we were happy to wait. What he did achieve at Two was just a glimpse of his natural ability. An equine machine.” – Chris Waller.

2023 Service Fee: $220,000

Celestial Storm’s dam Sebring Dream (Sebring) was a Gr 2 runner up and placed third in two Gr 3’s.
Celestial Storm is her first foal.
It is not surprising the Widden Stud-bred Celestial Storm fetched AU$430,000 at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale of 2022.
She made her debut in a Gr 3 in November 2022 and finished fifth.
To date she has had two wins and four places from nine starts for earnings of AU$88,475 and sticking to 1000m might be the future strategy.