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Seth’s Super start leads to Champagne starter

Son of Caulfield Guineas winner chasing his first Group 1.

Linebacker as a yearling.
Linebacker as a yearling. Picture: NZB.

Linebacker will forever be a significant horse in the story of Super Seth's stud career, but the chance presents on Saturday for the chestnut colt to enhance his chapter.

The John O'Shea-trained colt will be striving to become the son of Dundeel's first Group 1 winner in the $750,000 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.

Linebacker was Super Seth's first Australian winner, thanks to a debut Hawkesbury win on February 21, which he followed with victory in the Group 3 Baillieu Stakes at Rosehill on March 30, which was Super Seth's first Stakes success.

Those results have already justified the faith of O'Shea, who bought Linebacker in partnership with Suman Hedge for NZ$160,000 out of the Hanui Farm draft at last year's Karaka Yearling Sale.

"He was just a really nice sort and he had a beautiful, big female line and that's a thing I really like to see," O'Shea said.

"He put his hand up very early on. You always hope, but he was a nice horse from day one."

Linebacker is one of five individual winners from 16 individual starters for the 2019 Caulfield Guineas winner, who stands for NZ$35,000, plus GST, at Waikato Stud in New Zealand.

Super Seth's other Australian winner, the Dom Sutton -trained Feroce, is also two-from-two, including a last-start win at Caulfield.

Three of his winners have come in New Zealand, including Poetic Champion  and Diablo Blanco, who both won races sub-1000 metres in October.

He had another debut winner on Wednesday when Mo'unga's half-brother Super Photon won by 3-1/4 lengths over 1150m at Rotorua.

No one has followed Super Seth's career, both on the track and off, more closely than Dean Hawthorne, who purchased Super Seth for $280,000 out of Book 2 at the 2018 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale on behalf of Jonathan Munz, who retains a share in the seven-year-old.

"To be fair, we've been a little bit surprised with how early some of them have come on," Hawthorne said.

"A lot of them are quite big, rangy horses that needed time to fill out, but the one thing that all the trainers are saying is that they have great attitudes, they eat, they work, they sleep and that's a sign of a good breed."

Munz's GSA Bloodstock bred Linebacker, who is out of British mare Garden Of Swans, who Hawthorne bought for 160,000gns (about AU$320,000) at Tattersalls in December 2017.

Linebacker is the third foal from the daughter of Oasis Dream, who did not race but is a half-sister to Group 1 Eclipse Stakes winner Mukhadram.

Super Seth is one of five first-season sires represented in the Champagne Stakes, alongside Pierata, Tassort, Too Darn Hot and Castelvecchio, the latter also being by Dundeel.

Castelvecchio became the first Australian Group 1 winner for Dundeel when he won the 2019 Champagne Stakes, one of two wins in the race for Dundeel, who also sired last year's champion Militarize.

Racing and Sports