His Rosemont success led to a return to Coolmore Ireland in 2016, shuttling back and forth until it was decided to keep him in Ireland full-time for 2022. But even with his Irish-bred offspring continuing to succeed, the performances of his Australian-bred progeny on the track and in the auction ring, and those racing in Hong Kong, underpinned his considerable Southern Hemisphere appeal: the Coolmore masters could not ignore the requests for his return, nor the smart business sense it seemed to make.
“The great interest in Starspangledbanner’s progeny at the sales, particularly from a Hong Kong angle, was certainly one of the factors that influenced the decision to bring him back down. The Hong Kong market is an important segment of the market in Australia,” Coolmore’s Tom Moore told Asian Racing Report, adding, “but it’s certainly not the only reason that we brought him down here.”
John Moore purchased his latest Starspangledbanner colt at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in January of this year, one of only two offered at the sale. The Moores went to AU$425,000 for a colt out of an unraced half-sister to the smart sprinter Secret Flyer; their long-standing Hong Kong client Gary Ling paid AU$300,000 for the other, a colt out of a half-sister to the Group 1 winner Perfectly Ready.
“There’s definitely an interest among Hong Kong buyers,” the former trainer said. “We’ve got owners coming back to us once we’ve put forward a Starspanglendbanner: like a Deep Field, the owners pick up on it very quickly, as long as they’re the right type and fit the criteria. They’re popular if you can find the right one.”
Starspangledbanner has had 21 of his offspring race in Hong Kong and 14 of those have won 44 races between them; the stallion’s winning percentage is a solid 13 percent there, but what is really impressive is that he has produced a Group 1 winner in the 10-time scorer California Spangle, plus a potential star in the Hong Kong Derby third Beauty Eternal. Both have blossomed this season.