Ronstar no movie star but looks good winning

Jun 04, 2018

Ronstar might look unusual but trainer Gary Portelli says he has something money can’t buy: the will to win.

The Zoustar two-year-old with the swayback made it two wins from two starts at Rosehill on Saturday, again by a slender margin.

“You saw out there what we see in the morning on the track – he doesn’t like to let horses past him,” Portelli said. “He is so unusual to look at, and we nicknamed "Swayback Jack" at home because his wither is about 16.2 and it drops 14 hands at the lowest point, but he is a winner.

“He has always showed talent, but that will to win is the difference. It looked like a couple were going to go straight past him there, but he held them all off.

“Irish Bet looked like he had him at the top of the straight and he repelled him, and then the Hawkes horse [Diplomatico] made a late charge, but he just sticks his head out.”

Ronstar ($5) sat outside the leader and controlled the tempo in the 1200m race before hitting the front at the 300m and showing his will to win. The margin was only a half-head to Diplomatico ($5) on the line, with Irish Bet ($6) the same distance away third and favourite Galina ($3.70) a breath away in fourth.

Connections turned down big offers from Asia for Ronstar after his maiden win, much to the relief of Portelli, who is thinking he could measure up to a Golden Rose preparation.

“I told them they could have the cheque book or the scrapbook with him,” Portelli said. “They chose the scrapbook for now, so for him to win again was very important.

“There is a 1400m race in a couple of weeks, and with these horses it's good to keep them going when they are in form and keep putting the money in the bank.
“I don’t know if he is up to the good ones from the autumn, but he is a winner and he can earn his way [to the Golden Rose] with another win.”

Jockey Winona Costin was confident the 1400m would not be a problem for Ronstar, which has the ability to make his own luck.

“I think at 1400m he would be able to roll along a bit more and use his cruising speed. He is one of those horse that just doesn’t want to get beaten,” she said.

Diplomatico, a $1.7 million yearling purchase, caught the eye closing late and will go for a spell to be prepared for a spring campaign.

Chris Roots - Sydney Morning Herald - 03/06/18