Jolie the latest star for Cambridge and the Barhams

10 min read
Joliestar (Zoustar) added more elite-level success to her blue-blooded pedigree page when winning the G1 Thousand Guineas at Caulfield on Saturday. The Thoroughbred Report chatted to her co-owner, Brendan Lindsay, and her breeders, Chris and Jane Barham, to find out more about the regally bred filly.

Cover image courtesy of The Image Is Everything

The word from her trainer Chris Waller and jockey James McDonald was that Joliestar had been building towards something special, and the $950,000 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale graduate duly delivered on that promise with a decisive victory in Saturday’s 3-year-old feature.

Yet to miss the quinella in all of her five career starts to date, Joliestar is by Widden Stud flagbearer Zoustar, who has sired more winners than any other stallion in Australia so far this season and trails only reigning Champion Sire I Am Invincible in terms of stakes winners for the campaign.

Joliestar, who has had plenty of admirers since the day she was born, was purchased as a yearling by leading New Zealand breeders Cambridge Stud, whose CEO Henry Plumptre’s glowing endorsement of the filly gave Cambridge owner Brendan Lindsay the confidence to keep bidding.

“She was right at the end of the sale, but we’d been sitting there all day and had been underbidder on a few,” a jubilant Lindsay recalled.

“Henry (Plumptre) does his ratings at the sales, and he rated her a nine and a half. He said to us that he’d only ever rated a horse a nine and a half once before, and that was Merlene who won the Golden Slipper. I said, ‘Really?’, and he said, ‘Brendan, this is one of the nicest horses I’ve ever seen’.

“...he’d (Henry Plumptre) only ever rated a horse a nine and a half once before, and that was Merlene who won the Golden Slipper. I said, ‘Really?’, and he said, ‘Brendan, this is one of the nicest horses I’ve ever seen’.” - Brendan Lindsay

“That’s the advantage of having Henry along with you, who has been doing it for 40 years or something like that. It gives you the confidence to open your shoulders a wee bit at the sales.

“That’s a lot of money and we were struggling at that price, but I was geed on by my racing partner and my wife, who made it very clear that we were either going home with the horse or going home in separate cabs.”

Investing in the best

Although a squeeze at the time, the $950,000 the Lindsays paid for Joliestar at the sales now looks to be worth every penny and more, with her family quickly forging itself a reputation as one of the most potent in the Australian Stud Book.

Joliestar as a yearling | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

Bred by Chris and Jane Barham and raised and sold by Segenhoe Stud, whose graduates also won two other races on Saturday’s Caulfield card, Joliestar is out of the G2 Roman Consul S. heroine Jolie Bay (Fastnet Rock), whose dual hemisphere Group 1-winning brother Merchant Navy, another bred by the Barhams, stands at Kooringal Stud in Wagga Wagga.

Jolie Bay had already produced two stakes-class horses in God Of Thunder (More Than Ready {USA}) and Emperor (I Am Invincible) prior to Joliestar’s arrival on the scene, while her multiple stakes-winning dam Legally Bay (Snippets), herself the dam of four stakes horses, is a half-sister to fellow blue-hen mare Chatoyant (Flying Spur), whose three stakes winners are spearheaded by Darley’s freshman stallion Paulele.

Joliestar is Zoustar’s latest major-race winner of the spring carnival to be bred out of a mare by an immediate son of Danehill (USA), in this case Fastnet Rock, with G1 Coolmore Stud S. hero Ozzmosis, dual stakes winner Mumbai Muse and last Saturday’s Listed winner Schwarz others carrying the same double cross of Danehill.

“She’s got that blueblood pedigree and that’s the reason we paid a bit of money to start with, because those very good Australian families are so hard to get into,” Lindsay said. “You’ve got to pay a bit of money if you want to be a part of it and it has turned out to be a very good decision.

“She’s (Joliestar) got that blueblood pedigree and that’s the reason we paid a bit of money to start with, because those very good Australian families are so hard to get into.” - Brendan Lindsay

“We need to lift the quality of our broodmares all the way through, and she’s our third Group 1 winner that we will have eventually homed at Cambridge Stud after Probabeel and Amarelinha.

“To be a premium breeder we need premium stock. We know that when we mate a mare like that in three or four years’ time, we can choose just about whichever stallion we go to and choose whichever sales ring we want to put the progeny in. Or we can choose to keep them and have some fun, which is what we’ll do with Probabeel’s progeny.

“We’re just pinching ourselves and thinking about how lucky we are to be involved with such an exciting filly going forward and how fortunate we are to have the opportunity to race on the world stage, because in my view, Australian racing is the best racing in the world.”

Tip of the iceberg

Just like they did with Probabeel - the R. Listed Karaka Million 2YO winner who won Group 1 races at three, four and five - the Lindsays intend to race on with Joliestar, who will now head to the paddock for a well-earned spell having gone from maiden to Group 1 winner in the space of five months.

Probabeel (NZ) when racing

With Saturday’s elite-level breakthrough coming in only her second racing preparation, there is every reason to believe that the best is yet to come from Joliestar, and that is certainly the impression Lindsay has got from her trainer Chris Waller.

“Chris has said all the way along that she’s an autumn filly and whatever she does now we need to be patient, so that was quite special what she did on Saturday,” Lindsay said.

“I think we’re going to have a lot of fun with this horse in the future. It’s quite exciting when you have a horse of this calibre, you look forward to the autumn even though we haven’t even got to Christmas yet.

“There’s no reason why we won’t be running in Sydney in the autumn and possibly Melbourne in the spring next year, but who knows. It’s hard to plan the next one when you’re still savouring the one you’ve just got.

“There’s no reason why we won’t be running in Sydney in the autumn and possibly Melbourne in the spring next year, but who knows.” - Brendan Lindsay

“Time will tell, but if she retired to the broodmare paddock tomorrow she’s got the Group 1 next to her name, and that’s so hard to get.”

Joliestar’s ability to see out a mile at Group 1 level has opened up any number of doors for her over the coming 12 months, although not everyone was certain she would run the distance, given her family’s potency over sprint distances.

“Chris Waller was very confident, but her breeder Chris Barham actually sent me a text during the week saying that all the family have been sprinters and that he didn’t think she’d get the 1600 metres, so I said to him last night, ‘Bloody hell, you’re a shocking judge mate’,” Lindsay added.

“He laughed of course, but that’s the whole thing about having a trainer like Chris Waller. That’s why breeders are breeders and trainers are trainers I guess.”

Jo and Brendan Lindsay | Image courtesy of Peter Rubery

Barham, whose wife Jane was in tears after Joliestar’s Thousand Guineas triumph, has probably never been happier to have been proved wrong.

“When I talked to Brendan yesterday he said, ‘Yeah some bloke text me saying that most of the family were sprinters and they might want to consider a shorter race, but I’ve deleted his number from my phone’,” he said.

“He was very confident that she would run out 1600 metres and J-Mac was really confident in his interview on Saturday morning. She ran the 1600 metres easily in the end, and that opens up things like Doncasters.

“Your mouth waters a little bit, she’s had five starts and she has the world ahead of her. It’s so exciting.”

A crystal ball

It seems that Chris Waller, James McDonald and Brendan Lindsay weren’t the only ones expecting big things from Joliestar on Saturday, with Segenhoe Stud’s Peter O’Brien similarly confident of a bold showing from the daughter of red-hot stallion Zoustar - so confident, in fact, that he posted a video on X from when Joliestar was starting her preparation for the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.

“Peter has looked at over a million horses in his lifetime and he basically said that this was the best filly he’d ever seen - He called her the Queen Of The Nile and Cleopatra,” Barham recalled.

“Everything is rated in the sevens at Segenhoe. Seven and a half is like the best of the best, and he said he rated Joliestar an eight and would have given her more if there was a way to do that.

“Peter is calling himself Nostradamus at the moment but, credit where credit is due, he said to us before the race that it was going to be the biggest day of our breeding career, so he was very confident in Joliestar.

“He’s probably sitting back at the moment and reveling in the moment, and I really hope he is. Like I said before, if you surround yourself with good people, listen to them and follow their advice, you get rewarded. That’s just the way it seems to be.”

Chris and Jane Barham and Peter O'Brien | Image courtesy of The Image Is Everything

Joliestar’s Group 1 triumph could prove to be just the tip of the iceberg for the Barhams, who retained her 2-year-old sister, named Legacy Bay in honour of their late foundation mare Legally Bay, and sent her into training with the Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman partnership.

The Barhams also had another sister to Joliestar born in September, and although no decision has been made on whether she will be sold or retained to race, the couple could not be more excited about what the future holds for the family.

“Jolie (Bay) has gone to Anamoe this year and is in foal at this stage, so we’re excited about that,” Barham said.

“Jolie (Bay) has gone to Anamoe this year and is in foal at this stage, so we’re excited about that.” - Chris Barham

“Darley have a sister to Legally Bay, Chatoyant, and they’ve been breeding up that whole line of the family as well. They’ve had a whole bunch of black-type winners out of that branch, including Paulele, who’s a Group 1 winner.

“The page is just an enormous page now. The family stacks up every which way, it’s crazy. I was starting to feel like all the black type on our side of the page, with the mares that we kept, was small, it wasn’t in capitals yet. On Saturday we got into the capitals and hopefully it just keeps going.”

With Joliestar yet to reach her ceiling and two sisters to the Group 1 winner yet to grace the track, it’s surely only a matter of time before the capitals are out in force again.

Jolie Bay
Cambridge Stud
Brendan Lindsay
Henry Plumptre
Merchant Navy
Legally Bay
Legacy Bay
Jane Barham
Chris Barham