West Australian harness racing has received a tremendous boost with the news that champion juvenile pacer Follow The Stars will stand at stud at Bob Fowler’s Allwood Stud Farm in Bullsbrook this year.
Fowler purchased the four-year-old son of champion sire Art Major after he tore a tendon during the running of the group 1 Breeders Crown for three-year-old colts and geldings at Melton on August 30, in which he finished second to Menin Gate.
“Follow The Stars has been a terrific juvenile performer who has a lot to offer as a sire,” Fowler said. “He is a fine individual and has a lovely temperament. He will stand at stud this season for $2200, including GST.”
Follow The Stars, bred in Victoria, is by the American-bred stallion Art Major, who raced 49 times for 32 wins and $2,727,224 in prizemoney. He is the sire of an incredible six sub-1.48 pacers, his has been Australia’s leading juvenile sire six times and is the sire of the fastest ever two-year-old in both Australia and New Zealand. The progeny of Art Major have amassed more than $122 million, with 30 of his winners on the 1.50 list.
Follow The Stars was the 2014 Australian and New Zealand Two-Year-Old of the Year and is rated as one of the best young horses produced in Australia. He raced 29 times for 19 wins, seven seconds and two thirds for stakes of $707,237. His only unplaced effort was when he met with severe interference and finished seventh in the Harness Jewels in Cambridge as a two-year-old.
He won at six of his 11 starts in New Zealand and at 13 of his 18 Australian starts. He won at his debut, at Alexandra Park in December 2013 and at his second start two months later, he sprinted home over the final quarter in in 27.7sec. to win the group 3 New Zealand Sapling Stakes in 1.53.8 over 1609m at Ashburton.
At his third appearance Follow The Stars rated 1.56.3 in scoring an easy victory in the group 1 Young Guns Cardigan Bay Stakes over 1700m, at Alexandra Park.
He won at all his six Australian starts as a two-year-old, with his victories including the Australian Pacing Gold at Melton and the Breeders Crown at the same track. He won the APG by four and a half lengths from Artistic Flite at a 1.54.1 rate over 1720m. He rated 1.56.7 in winning the 2240m Breeders Crown from Kept Under Wraps after working hard and then sprinting over the final two 400m sections in 28sec. and 27.7sec.
Champion New Zealand trainer-reinsman was full of praise of the colt after his triumph in the Breeders Crown, declaring: “There is something special about this horse. He has a real X factor about him. I would say he is more than up with the best two-year-olds I’ve trained --- he is the best.”
In the following season Follow The Stars finished second in three Derbies, being beaten by stablemate Have Faith In Me in the 2700m Northern Derby at Alexandra Park and in the New Zealand Derbye at Addington after finishing second to Menin Gate in the Victoria Derby at Melton.
Purchased for $20,000 at the 2013 Australian Pacing Gold yearling sale in Melbourne, Follow The Stars is out of American-bred mare Smyrna Duruisseau (by Cam’s Card Sharp, the sire of champion record-breaking stallion Bettor’s Delight). Smyrna Duruisseau (1.56) was out of the Abercrombie mare Secret Date, who produced Strange Hanover (1.49.8 and $272,041), Little Brown Jug heat winner Texas Shootout (1.50, $497,659) and Reynolds Memorial winner Sub Rosa Hanover (1.55, $211,132).
Dateable, the materal granddam of Follow The Stars, produced 13 winners, eight of them with a sub-1.57 record, including Historic (1.51 and $1.3 million), Seven O’Clock ($559,080) and Tyler’s Mark ($289,100). The family also includes Woodrow Wilson winners Magical Mike ($1.6 million) and Dontgetinmyway ($1.4 million).
At Fowler’s Allwood Stud Farm Follow The Stars will join stallions Lombo Mandingo and Tinted Cloud, as well as Ross Torre’s Allamerican Ingot.