Zoustar’s standing as one of the Australian breeding industry’s premier stallions has been reaffirmed with a 1.6 per cent share in the champion sire selling for $1.3 million.

A share of Widden's star stallion Zoustar was sold for $1.6 million (Photo: Sharon Chapman/Widden)

In a frenzied piece of online bidding through Inglis’ digital platform, the share was sold to Julia Ritchie’s Bangaloe Stud.

The share entitles Ritchie to annual priority access to the elite stallion and a 1/60th slice of the pooled income for each year.

It was offered by Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani’s Qatar Bloodstock, which secured Zoustar for stud in a 2013 incentive deal reportedly worth a base of $14 million.

Ritchie’s winning bid values Zoustar at around $80 million heading into the 2024 breeding season, when he will once again stand as a flagship sire at Widden Stud in the NSW Hunter Valley.

Zoustar’s service fee this year will match that of Yarraman Park’s I Am Invincible at $275,000 (incl GST) as the most expensive advertised stallion in Australia.

He is already booked out after standing for $220,000 (incl GST) in 2023.

It is the first time that equity in Zoustar, a son of Northern Meteor who was crowned champion first, second and third season sire, has been made available for public auction.

Julia Ritchie
Bangaloe Stud's Julia Ritchie (Photo: ATC)

Sold for $85,000 as a Magic Millions yearling, Zoustar was among the talents to watch out of the 2013 Queensland winter carnival in winning the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes before placing in the Group 1 JJ Atkins.

He became a highly marketable stud prospect with his 2013 Group 1 Golden Rose win and confirmed the wisdom of Qatar Bloodstock’s investment soon after that race with a Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes triumph.

Retired to Widden in 2014, Zoustar has been a stunning success in siring eight Group 1 winners among 54 Stakes winners.

Demand for his progeny in the yearling sales ring continues to surge. Seven of his progeny sold for more than $1 million in 2024 alone, out of an overall total of 26.

This Australian season Zoustar is the leading sire of winners (190) from I Am Invincible (161).

He also leads the table for siring stakes winners (15) and Group 1 winners (four).

It’s not the first time Ritchie has been involved in an online auction with a connection to Zoustar that has captured bloodstock headlines.

She was a member of a Star Thoroughbreds syndicate that put the Group 2-winning Zoustar mare Kiku on the market via Magic Millions last year.

Kiku was sold for $1.46 million to Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm in Japan.