Seven-figure yearling purchase Schwarz (Zoustar) made light work of his rivals in Saturday’s Listed The Amanda Elliott at Flemington to continue a recent purple patch for his sire, and we spoke to Ryan McEvoy of Rosemont Stud, who co-purchased and part-own Schwarz, to find out more about a colt with a very bright future.
Having justified his big reputation with an effortless debut victory at Gosford last month, Schwarz lost his unbeaten record in the G3 Red Anchor S. at The Valley last time out after making a mess of the start, but the son of Zoustar atoned for that blip with aplomb on Saturday, producing a dominant display from the front under Champion Jockey James McDonald.
The regally bred colt is by no means the finished article, however, which makes the ease of Saturday’s 1.75l success all the more impressive, according to Ryan McEvoy of Rosemont Stud, who, along with Suman Hedge Bloodstock (FBAA) and David Redvers Bloodstock, purchased Schwarz for $1.25 million at last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
“It was a performance we were certainly hoping to see as he’s a horse that has always shown John (O’Shea) and the stable a huge amount of talent,” McEvoy told The Thoroughbred Report.
“He has a hell of a lot of ability but has just lacked a bit of race craft. This is effectively his first prep, so he’s still learning, and I dare say that the penny hasn’t dropped yet.
“This is effectively his (Schwarz) first prep, so he’s still learning, and I dare say that the penny hasn’t dropped yet.” – Ryan McEvoy
“You probably saw on Saturday that he still does a few little things wrong in the run, but thankfully that natural talent is taking him a long way. It’s exciting for everyone.
“I just love that turn of foot he showed at the 300-metre mark to put three or four lengths on his opposition in a really short space of time; that was the pleasing part. He went bang and put the race to bed really quickly, which is the sign of a really good colt.”
The opinion that Schwarz’s trainer John O’Shea has of the million-dollar colt was well-documented in the lead-up to Saturday’s contest, and with a host of suitable races lying in waiting for him in the autumn, Schwarz’s connections are now faced with the enviable task of enhancing his stallion credentials for the remainder of his hugely promising career.
Although nothing has been set in stone with regards to his principal autumn target, ‘there will certainly be no hiding him’ according to McEvoy, with the G2 Arrowfield Sprint against his own age group and the Group 1 sprints against the older horses all on the table at this stage.
It’s exciting times for all Schwarz’s owners, whose patience was handsomely rewarded with his breakthrough stakes-level victory on the weekend.
“He’s a horse we think we’ll start to see the best of in the autumn, and it’s all geared towards that now, but to go the paddock and have a little let up as a stakes-winning colt with his profile, it’s a great feeling for everyone,” McEvoy added.
“John (O’Shea) pegged this horse as a special talent 12 months ago as an early 2-year-old, but he had a couple of little niggles and we just weren’t prepared to push him. To the stable’s credit and the veterinary team, they just sort of kept the wraps on the horse and did the right thing by him, just to steady the jets on him.
“John (O’Shea) pegged this horse (Schwarz) as a special talent 12 months ago as an early 2-year-old…” – Ryan McEvoy.
“We’ve had to be a bit patient with him to experience what we did on Saturday, but hopefully, that patience will be rewarded over the next six-12 months.
“As a horse that has been well looked after and wasn’t pushed at two, I dare say we’d be pretty open-minded to racing him on at four, so that’s always in the back of your mind. He has a good 12-18 months ahead of him this horse.”
The pick of the bunch
Purchased and raced by the Rosemont-Victorian Alliance, which now operates under the Rosemont Alliance to reflect a growing interstate involvement amongst its stakeholders, Schwarz was the seventh most expensive horse at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in 2022.
A number of the industry’s biggest hitters helped push his price-tag up to a hefty $1.25 million, which McEvoy believes was as much a result of his outstanding physical attributes as his impeccable bloodlines.
“He was such an attractive, smooth-moving horse with a huge amount of quality about him,” McEvoy recalled. “He was a good size, had a really smart brain on him and was well-prepared by a great farm in Widden.
“He was one of the better-looking Zoustar colts that we’ve seen at a sale, and he’s the first live foal of a Group 2-winning Not A Single Doubt mare from the family of Redoute’s Choice, so there was a lot to like about him.
“There were some great judges that we had to fend off to buy him, and John (O’Shea) was pretty quick to come and join us after we bought him to say that he was by far the stand-out colt in the sale from his point of view.
“There were some great judges that we had to fend off to buy him (Schwarz), and John (O’Shea) was pretty quick to come and join us after we bought him to say that he was by far the stand-out colt in the sale from his point of view.” – Ryan McEvoy.
“It was a stretch to buy him, but I’m glad we did. He’s got a stallion’s pedigree and certainly has a stallion’s looks.”
Schwarz’s pedigree is as intriguing as it is regal, with his sire Zoustar out of a mare by Redoute’s Choice and his dam Summer Sham by a son of Redoute’s Choice in Not A Single Doubt. There is plenty of the late Arrowfield stallion’s breed-shaping blood in Schwarz’s pedigree, for Summer Sham is also a direct descendant of Redoute’s Choice’s dam, the hugely influential blue hen mare Shantha’s Choice (Canny Lad), who produced an astonishing five stallion sons in addition to the dam of another Group 1-producing sire in Swettenham Stud-based stallion Rubick.
Last weekend’s G1 Coolmore Stud S. winner, Ozzmosis and Thursday’s G3 Red Roses S. heroine, Mumbai Muse, are just two of the 14 stakes winners by Zoustar out of mares by immediate sons of Danehill (USA), of which Redoute’s Choice is one, and McEvoy is already dreaming of the impact Schwarz could have at stud should he go on to achieve what is hoped and expected of him during the remainder of his racing career.
“It’s interesting, Zoustar has actually worked pretty well when bred back to Danehill and, to an extent, mares offering an additional strain of Redoute’s Choice,” McEvoy said.
“I think he has had a few stakes winners now from Not A Single Doubt or Snitzel mares. The good filly Haut Brion Her is actually out of a Redoute’s Choice mare, and we’ve had a stakes-winning colt out of a Snitzel mare called Millane.
“We even saw Ozzmosis last weekend, who’s out of a Darci Brahma mare, who is, of course, by Danehill, so it seems to be a sireline that really nicks well with an additional strain of Danehill.
“It’s a fascinating pedigree when you line it up and have a look at it, and to think that one day he could be a stallion for us at Rosemont – a really classy, quality-looking Zoustar colt from the family of Redoute’s Choice – it’s nice to think about what he could do for us.”
“… to think that one day he (Schwarz) could be a stallion for us at Rosemont – a really classy, quality-looking Zoustar colt from the family of Redoute’s Choice – it’s nice to think about what he could do for us.” – Ryan McEvoy
A star born from a familiar face
McEvoy knows Schwarz’s sire Zoustar better than most, having worked at Widden Stud as head of nominations and marketing for 15 years prior to joining the Rosemont team as General Manager of Bloodstock in March 2020.
During that time, McEvoy oversaw the launch of Zoustar’s stallion career – as well as that of many others, including his own sire, Northern Meteor – which adds an added layer of satisfaction to Saturday’s breakthrough stakes result with one of his most exciting sons.
Together with Schwarz, the aforementioned Ozzmosis and Mumbai Muse have contributed towards a real purple patch for the Widden flagbearer’s 3-year-old crop, and Zoustar’s juveniles also hit the ground running at the earliest opportunity this season courtesy of Espionage’s victory in the G3 Breeders’ Plate at Royal Randwick.
All in all, it has been a landmark spring for a stallion that not only McEvoy but the Rosemont Alliance as a collective have a huge amount of time for.
“I’ve certainly got a soft spot for him, having had a bit to do with him since the start of his stud career, and to see him elevate his status to a world-class sire now, it’s special,” McEvoy said.
“I’ve certainly got a soft spot for him (Zoustar), having had a bit to do with him since the start of his stud career, and to see him elevate his status to a world-class sire now, it’s special.” – Ryan McEvoy.
“We’ve only established the Rosemont Alliance partnership in the last two years, but we’ve had good success with that stallion. We haven’t bought a lot of them, but we have bought three stakes winners by him now – Millane and Brereton, who were 2-year-old stakes winners, and now this horse.
“He’s a special stallion, Zoustar, and I’d like to think myself and Suman Hedge, who has also had a lot to do with him, have a bit of an idea of what a fast one looks like. Thankfully, it seems to be working pretty well.
“From a Rosemont breeding point of view, we have supported him with some of our best mares – the likes of Brooklyn Hustle, Minhaaj and Bella Vella. He’s a stallion that’s going to keep going from strength to strength, and he’s clearly a champion stallion in waiting.”
Whether Schwarz can be the one to help his sire achieve that Champion Sire status remains to be seen, but McEvoy is hopeful that he can, at the very least, become Zoustar’s second Group 1-winning colt in the autumn.
“That’s the indication from the stable, and that’s certainly what we’re all dreaming about,” he said.
“John (O’Shea) and James (McDonald) feel that it’s a level he can get to. They’re happy to publicly state that that’s the feeling he gives them.
“We’ll leave no stone unturned trying to get him to that level, but we’ve got to keep emphasising that he’s done what he’s done off just the one preparation.
“We’ll leave no stone unturned trying to get him (Schwarz) to that (elite) level, but we’ve got to keep emphasising that he’s done what he’s done off just the one preparation.” – Ryan McEvoy
“The fact that the penny is still dropping makes it exciting to see the sort of level he could get to when he is the real furnished article.”
Written by Lewis Lesbirel