Another autumn carnival with another Bowness star

Another Sydney autumn carnival is underway with a graduate of Bowness Stud’s sales program at the forefront of feature racing. In 2018 and 2019 it was Trapeze Artist, winner of the TJ Smith (G1) and All Aged Stakes (G1) as a 3-year-old, as well as the Canterbury Stakes (G1) at four. This time around, it’s the exceptional 3-year-old filly Funstar.

Already a Group 1 winner after taking out the Flight Stakes (G1) at Royal Randwick last spring, Funstar added to her impeccable winning record when making virtually all of the running in last Saturday’s Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens. Contested on a very heavy track, the first-crop daughter of W.S. Cox Plate winner Adelaide (Ire) took her record to five wins and two seconds for earnings of $745,450 from just seven starts.

Speaking after the filly’s latest victory, winning rider James McDonald suggested that despite her formidable race record to date, the best is still to come from a filly with which Bowness Stud can claim a very close association.

“Her work this week has gone up a couple of notches; she is a weapon,” stated McDonald immediately after their Phar Lap victory. “She’s just a good horse and good horses can get you out of trouble. It’s probably not her go leading, but she just makes it look so easy and makes my job so easy.”

Winning trainer Chris Waller all but confirmed that Funstar’s next outing will be the Group 1 Vinery Stakes, presenting the filly with the chance to record her second success at the very highest level.

“It’s a good race; a stepping-stone,” Waller remarked in reference to the 2000m Rosehill Gardens feature exclusive to 3-year-old fillies. “She’s by Adelaide, a middle-distance horse, so that doesn’t worry me.”

Waller added: “She doesn’t need to be running in a Doncaster [Mile] as a 3-year-old. What happens if she draws 20 against older, seasoned horses? Yes, she has a light weight [in] 49kg, but so will some 4-year-olds as well.

“[I’m] Pretty confident we’ll go toward the Vinery, but we’ll make that decision to let everybody know later in the week.”

Funstar was purchased from Bowness Stud (as Agent) by Anton Koolman Bloodstock for $80,000 at the 2018 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale. She now races for an ownership group comprising Anton Koolman Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Mr O A Koolman, Mr A G J Koolman, Archer Racing, Mrs C J Inglis, Mrs J Minahan, Mr G J Minahan, Mr R Atra, Mrs K J Shadbolt, Mr P C Shadbolt, Sir David Edward Christian Racing, Mrs K P Sheather, Mr J K Sheather, Miss R Bowry and Unifaith Bloodstock.

One of six individual winners produced by the imported Danehill mare Starspangled (Ire), Funstar is a three-quarter sister to Group 1 BRC Queensland Oaks winner Youngstar, which was also sold (for $200,000) by Bowness Stud when consigned for the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.


Stud principal JOHN NORTH on (+61-0) 428 846 270