Image: Bruno Cannatelli

Declares War stamped himself as a potential star of the future at Flemington on Saturday

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We see and hear about it all the time in horse racing.

From pub talk to racing experts raising their eyebrows as they speak like they know, they alone see the future saying such prose as – “Oh this horse has the potential to be anything.” And this, “He’s a potential superstar.”

But what does that mean?

Well, simply put we do all have some understanding of the term. That understanding, presumably unless you’re a moron, describes latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.

So I’ve found five young Aussie steeds worthy to be classified ‘potential stars.’

Let me know your thoughts.


DECLARES WAR (Declaration Of War-Kristeva). Trained by Darren Weir

3YO Colt. The way he picked himself up off the canvass to score at Flemington last Saturday, was, well LONHRO-like in its efficiency. He has a will to win that seems superior to most. If you see a replay just watch how he is shut out at the clock tower, then while everything had momentum up, and remember this was a Saturday grade race, he has to pick himself up and accelerate. I loved it. Gave me goose bumps. He cost $62,000 as a yearling, and his mum is a full-sister to a Gr 2 winner who was Gr 1 placed in VOCABULARY. His brother is also a winner.


SYLVIA’S MOTHER (Snitzel-Found The One). Trained by Team Hawkes

3YO Filly. This could be a rather easy one to unpack. Presumably named after that romantic hit by Dr Hook of the 1980s by the same name, this is a well put together piece of horse flesh from a prolific winning family. Her mother is one of 10 siblings born to the stakes winner DROP ANCHOR, who raced with racetrack success. Found The One saluted 3 times and once in the city. So when she met the superstar stallion of today SNITZEL, it was likely a star would emerge. And from just 3 starts to date, Sylvia’s Mother has not let connections down. After a 3rd on debut at the Farm, she went to Hawkesbury and won her maiden over 1100m with her head on her chest. Then 17 weeks later was presented in a Class 2 at the same track. Not a Class 1 in which she was eligible for, but a rung above that and she won by an even bigger marghin, which for the record, was just over 4 lengths. She sat off the pace and darted away. Actually, accelerated away with authority. Looks Saturday city grade for sure and possibly even above that pay grade.


JAZZLAND (Home On The Grange-Dix). Trained by Kristen Buchanan

4YO Gelding. Wow! This bloke has been a bit of a social media sensation after winning his provincial maiden by 9 lengths with his head on his chest then winning his Class 1, carrying 3kg more, again at the provincials by 2 lengths eased down. He looks a stayer of considerable talent, based on a few variables. His stride length is amazing. He’s a big chunk of a horse. He clearly doesn’t get tired. He runs his last 600m very fast, and does it from the front, and he is still immature. His trainer penned a poem about him that was retweeted on Twitter several times, and his name was mentioned recently on other social sites which asked pundits to contribute, as a horse best described by one word: nearly all of whom responded with exciting and its ilk. Next prep we might see a Cups horse. His mother, DIX, was a very slow racehorse but comes from that good former Woodlands/Godolphin family that produced the Gr 2 winner and Gr 1 place getter SEIKA. This big boy has 2 siblings, both have raced and both were outstanding bush gallopers winning numerous races.


POULTON LE SANDS (Camelot-Morecambre Bay). Trained by Allan Denham

3YO Gelding. I’m taking a risk putting this bloke in the mix because all he’s done is win one very lowly rated maiden at Scone. And the time wasn’t flash. BUT….there is a genuine look of eagles in the eye of this guy. He is bred to run all day, so when he turned for home at Scone about 15 lengths off the speed, then kicked into gear, it looked like he was just dropped into the race at the 400m to go mark. His sense of urgency was palpable. He has Gr 1 Oaks winners in what was also an older Woodlands pedigree. I loved his desire.


SCARLET DREAM (Sebring-Asylum Seeker). Trained by Mark Newnham

3YO Filly. She might be the best of them all. I’m looking at corporates already trying to get on for the ATC Oaks of next year and the Caulfield Cup. That’s how highly I rate her. She has astonishing acceleration. Likes to drop back but just goes bang when asked. She has won 2 of her 3 runs to date, the past pair – her maiden and Class 1 – earned at the provincials. Don’t let this filly get under your guard. Her mother was a Gr 1 winner and two of her siblings have already won also.

Now, these heroes should rocket heavenwards to pioneer another new frontier after Christmas and into the new year. To me they are expected to thrill all the racing people…from those in pubs to the TV experts.


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