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Astara - Dalghar's First Southern Hemisphere Winner
02 Apr 2016
Astara with her Dam Svita (Success Express) as a young foal.

First Southern Hemisphere Winner for Dalghar
Tara Madgwick - Sunday, 3 April 2016
Brighthill Farm were celebrating on Saturday when their blue-blooded young stallion Dalghar (Fr) broke the ice with his first winner when Astara powered clear to post a stylish victory at Ellerslie.

A half-brother by renowned shuttle sire Anabaa to champion racehorses and successful sires Daylami and Dalakhani( now a regular shuttler to Cornerstone Stud), Dalghar was a brilliant Group III winning sprinter miler that set a course record at Longchamp for 1400 metres.

Given his credentials it’s no surprise to see him come up with a nice filly such as Astara.

Astara - Kenton Wright
Astara winning over the 1300m on a Ellerslie Saturday Meeting

The Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs-trained two-year-old produced encouraging performances at her first two starts finishing second at Te Aroha on debut and then an unlucky close up fourth in the Group II Matamata Breeders Stakes.

She sat outside the leader before asserting her superiority in the run home for rider Sam Collett to win the 1300 metre open juvenile event by a length as favourite.

"Astara has showed plenty of promise and was a good second at Te Aroha and then she was a really strong fourth in the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes,” Brighthill’s Nick King said.

"It’s great to see the stallion off the mark here and we’re really chuffed it’s come at a Saturday meeting at Ellerslie.

"The fact that she is bred and raced by Neven Botica is very special. Neven bought Dalghar from the Aga Khan and then retired him to stud in France for the one season, and while he was there he contacted us about bringing the horse here - Dalghar is now permanently based here at Brighthill Farm.”

Dalghar yearlings proved popular in their first year at Karaka in 2015 selling for up to $130,000 and the interest in his stock continued this year.

"He’s done very well and the buyers really got after them at Karaka this year where they sold up to $90,000 at K2 and in K3 three of them broke $50,000,” King said.

"He will have a lot more runners out in the next month and they will be better at three than two.

I know Donna and Chris think a fair bit of Astara and they debated whether to go to Awapuni for the Group One, but there was the question of a heavy track.

"She’s got the job done at Ellerslie and it’s great for Dalghar to get on the board.”

Dalghar sired three winners from just a handful of starters from his only crop in the Northern Hemisphere last year, but Astara has the honour of being his first in the Southern Hemisphere.

She is the first foal of Svita, a half-sister by Success Express (USA) to Group winners Schilling and Estonian Princess.

Astara just a week old, walking with purpose next to her mother Svita.