It seems fitting on
the very day that Arrowfield Stud announced the retirement of champion stallion
Flying Spur that one of his well credentialled sons sire his first winner.
The promising Lateva who, at her Kilmore debut last weekend, raced away to an impressive 2¾ victory for the Byron Cozamanis stable.
"She blitzed her rivals," enthused her trainer who added "she was slow to begin but she rounded up the opposition quickly on the home turn before dashing home."
Lateva is only the third runner for the handsome Zupaone – a highly talented racehorse and exciting young stallion prospect.
A member of the Rangal Park Stud roster, Zupaone is one of only a handful of Flying Spur's sons at stud and that stallion – one of Danehill's best – is making his mark as a sire of sires.
Brilliant Caulfield Guineas winner All Too Hard is by Flying Spur stallion Casino Prince whilst Heritage, Magnus, Jet Spur and Shaft have all sired stakes winners.
A three times Group One winner of the Golden Slipper Stakes, the Australian Guineas and the All-Aged Stakes, Flying Spur has sired 86 stakes winners during a hugely successful career, twelve of his sons and daughters being winners at the elite level in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
A particularly good-looking individual always highly regarded, Zupaone won six of his 20 starts – kicking off his career (after two trial wins by 13 lengths and four lengths) with soft two-year-old victories at Wangaratta and Seymour enroute to a Flemington win at three.
At his first crack at black type racing, Zupaone took on the big guns in the Group 3 McNeil Stakes and was a game fourth behind Miss Finland and Haradasun.
Winning at Sandown over 1000m in fast time first up as a summer three-year-old, the John Symons trained colt was a second up close up third in the Listed Dermody Stakes (charging home from well back) before recording a 3.3 length victory in the Group 3 Spring Stakes at Morphettville.
Winning again at metropolitan level at Caulfield at four, Zupaone (pictured) during his career unfortunately battled a couple of problems and he retired to stud without getting the chance to show his best.
Serving small books he has, therefore, had to make his name the hard way and the early signs are most encouraging with Lateva so impressive whilst the David Hayes trained Chosen Mia was an eye-catching third at her debut at Bendigo in late September.
Standing at a value fee of $5500 (incl gst), Zupaone was held in high esteem by his trainer and by those who rode him.
"He was a quality horse who I had huge wraps on right from the start," said John Symons, adding that Zupaone was "a true professional and potentially better than Bel Esprit."
Blake Shinn was also taken by Zupaone's natural ability – "he quickened like a good horse," he said.
Steve Vella was another a Zupaone fan, having ridden him from the time he came into work.
"From day one he felt like a good horse," he said – "he had power, speed and a very professional attitude."
"Unfortunately he was injured at two and I can guarantee that we never saw the best of him."
Vella's wife Kylie now trains a number of Zupaone's progeny and the stable have been impressed – "he has definitely passed on his pace, strength and athleticism," Steve Vella said – "they are very impressive horses."
Part owner Frank Butler has supported Zupaone at stud and is extremely pleased with the potential his youngsters have shown.
"We have four talented Zupaones in work at the moment and we are really excited about what his progeny are showing. They are big, strong, correct and athletic horses with a lot of speed."
Bred on a 3 X 4 cross of the breed-shaper Mr Prospector, Zupaone is a son of the high class race mare Shizu, winner of the Group One 1000 Guineas. - Kristen Manning