Exciting three-year-old Cooga Doon will continue his racing career in Asia after his seven-figure sale to Hong Kong interests on Thursday.
The undefeated son of Makfi won the Listed HS Dyke Wanganui Guineas (1340m) by nine lengths last start and trainer Fraser Auret said the phone has been red hot since then.
“There was a huge amount of interest in him from agents from many different countries,” Auret said. “It was quite overwhelming the interest that was in the horse.
“As of this (Thursday) morning he is officially sold. He is going to do his future racing in Hong Kong.
“It was Brian Hedley in partnership with Greg Zarra from Australasian Bloodstock that got the deal done.”
After his last-start heroics Cooga Doon was installed as a second favourite behind Catalyst in the TAB’s Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m) futures market, but he will now join Casper Fownes’ barn and Auret believes he will thrive in the Hong Kong stable environment.
“He is a very relaxed type of horse that really does enjoy the stable environment,” he said.
“He’s a good level-headed type and is a very good eater. I believe from that perspective he ticks those boxes (for Hong Kong). He’s just so untapped, he had very good ability right from day one.
“It’s very exciting that we will be following his future with great interest.”
While Auret admits Cooga Doon is a big loss to the stable, he said with the state of the domestic racing scene in New Zealand his sale was inevitable.
“It is a big loss for the stable, but with how domestic racing is at the moment it gets to the point where these type of horses can’t possibly be retained.
“It is a big loss, but we move on and rebuild basically.”
Another promising three-year-old in the stable could assist with that rebuild despite a luckless unplaced run in the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings on Saturday.
Trifolium was heading into the race off the back of a fresh-up runner-up performance in the Listed The O’Leary’s Fillies Stakes (1200m), but Auret said she never had the opportunity to unwind on the weekend.
“She was a little bit stuck for early speed and ended up in a bit of an awkward spot. It was basically race over from that point,” he said.
“She was basically under a hold from the 600m to the winning post. There were a few other unlucky runners in there, but she didn’t really get a crack at them, which was a bit of a shame.
“In these high pressure races there is always going to be some hard luck stories and on this occasion she was one of them.”
Auret said he would now test the daughter of Krupt over more ground to see if she can handle the step-up to a mile for the Gr.1 gavelhouse.com NZ 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November. “We are going to step her up to 1400m. She is still currently in the 1000 Guineas, so we will just try her over a bit more ground and that will dictate what path we take.”