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Shannon Has Another Smart One

Queensland based owner Dean Shannon looks like he has another exciting pacer on his hands.

The leviathan owner has enjoyed tremendous success with ex-Kiwi’s the likes of Lanercost (30 wins from 45 starts - $500k) and Courageous Annie (15 wins from 27 starts - $207k) among many others in years gone by while his latest talented type also hails from New Zealand.

Star Of Montana, a graduate of last year’s New Zealand Australasian Classic Yearling Sale at Karaka was entrusted with champion horseman Barry Purdon for his education and early racing.

The Art Major – Cyathea (by Fake Left) colt was purchased at a hefty price of $93,000.

He was originally called Adios Amigos before undergoing a name change following his purchase.

His family includes Cyamach, Maheer Lord, Lavros Glen, Ideal Success and Rodrigo among others.

Star Of Montana finished as runner-up behind Jesse Duke in the Gr.1 $100,000 Breckon Farms Cardigan Bay Young Guns Final at Alexandra Park, Auckland last night (Friday).

After working hard to find the lead, Star Of Montana was overpowered late by race favourite and last year’s sales topper ($220k) before eventually going down by less than a length.

The time of 2:01.5 for the 1700m mobile start feature equates to a mile rate of 1:55.0.

Previous winners of the North Island feature include Chokin, Il Vicolo, Ginger Man, Jack Cade, Gotta Go Cullen, Gotta Go Cullect, Follow The Stars, (The) More The Better and last year’s victor Mach Shard.

As it stands, Star Of Montana has been placed in three of his four starts to date while banking more than $24,000 which has him in second spot behind Jesse Duke on the leaderboard for Jewels days.

The Gr.1 $150,000 Emerald for 2yo colts and geldings will take place at Cambridge on June 2.

The association with Purdon goes back a number of years following the purchase of talented pacer Five Card Draw before he was later sold to further his career in North America.

Five Card Draw won the Gr.3 $30,000 2016 Redcliffe City Gold Cup.

Ultimately, Star Of Montana will be transferred to Shannon’s main trainer, Fernvale based horseman Darrel Graham.

Currently, the Shannon/Graham combination is enjoying good success with yet another New Zealand pacer.

Franco Totem, a gelded son of Changeover has built-up an impressive record of 6 wins and 5 minor placing’s from 13 starts to date.

Following his latest victory at Albion Park on September 30, the four-year-old was spelled but indicated a return is close following some impressive trials recently.


Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | March 10