First Stakes Winner for Fighting Sun
Mark Smith - Friday March 23

Sun Stud's first season sire, Fighting Sun was represented by his first stakes-winner when the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Chess Star led all the way under Mark Zahra in Friday's Listed St Albans Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.

Appropriately enough, Zahra sported the silks of Sun Bloodstock.

Sent off the $3.10 favourite, Chess Star was making his third start.

At his career debut at Bendigo on February 28, he finished second behind Zizziz before that son of Sizzling travelled to Morphettville to claim the Magic Millions Adelaide 2yo Classic.

Chess Star then went to Moonee Valley where he was narrowly beaten into third place in a 1000 metre maiden

Given a more positive ride this time around Chess Star defeated the dead-heaters Wild Planet (Animal Kingdom) and Thrillstar (Starspangledbanner) by one and a quarter lengths. (photo Grant Courtney)

"He's very green. I really had to ride him to get to the front and once he was there he pricked his ears," Zahra said.

"I had to let a horse come up beside me and give me a bit of pressure just to get him going.

"In the straight he was a bit all over the place but he was strong enough to the line."

The stable's Melbourne Forman Roger Elliott said the son of Fighting Sun was luckless at his most recent start.

"The other day he was four and five deep the trip over 1000 metres so that made it pretty hard," Elliott said.

"He's a very laid-back horse and I think he's still learning."

A $120,000 purchased by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Racing out of the Sun Stud draft at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Chess Star is the fourth winner from five to race out of the stakes-winning mare Social Glow (Aghaadir) who was runner-up in the Group 1 Swettenham Stud Stakes.

At the recent Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, Smart Racing Stables needed just $25,000 to purchase Chess Star's full-sister. 

Social Glow missed to Reward For Effort last spring having not been covered in 2016.  

Chess Star is the third Australian winner for Fighting Sun who becomes the fifth first crop stallion to sire a stakes winner after Spirit Of Boon, Zoustar, Epaulette and Eurozone.

A lightly raced son of Northern Meteor, Fighting Sun covered 144 mares at Sun Stud last spring at a fee of $13,750.

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