Promising galloper King Cougar delivered an emphatic statement to those who questioned his
credentials on firmer ground when he stormed to victory on his home turf on Saturday.
The Awapuni local has fashioned a more than useful record to date on mainly wet tracks with four
wins and three placings from just nine starts. His only failure came when he finished last at Otaki in
December on a Good3 rated surface which had some pundits questioning whether he was as
effective on better going.
Although successful on a Slow9 track at Riccarton last month, trainer Mike Breslin believed his
charge had strengthened further since then and would prove highly competitive in Saturday’s rating
82 1200m event that was contested on a rapidly improving Slow7 surface.
Handled confidently by Johnathan Parkes, King Cougar (pictured) stalked pacemakers Gift Of Power and
Manhattan Street throughout before bursting to the lead with 200m to run. Gift Of Power rallied
gamely but King Cougar had momentum on his side as he fought off her challenge to nail a telling
“I’ve just been loving the progress he has made since he came back from Christchurch,” Breslin said.
“His work has been super and I was half-pie expecting what he did today, although against one like
Gift Of Power you never quite know.
“I think this horse is going to be some miler in the autumn next year.”
Breslin believes that the patient approach he has adopted with the Alamosa five-year-old will reap
plenty of benefits in the future although he does have in mind a greater challenge for his charge as
early as next month.
“He’s just a horse that does what the rider wants,” he said.
“He’s learning his trade and I think he is a very talented horse.
“We’ve taken our time and I think we are going to be repaid in bucket loads.
“I’ll see what the track conditions are like the last day at Hawkes Bay, and how he does, as to
whether he can step up to that Group Three race on the minimum, but it will depend on how he
does between now and then.”
That race is the Gr.3 Red Badge Spring Sprint (1400m) at Hastings on October 6 which is the one of
the feature events on the last day of the Hawkes Bay Spring Carnival.