MONGOLIAN Wolf continued the domination of New Zealand staying three-year-olds during the Sydney autumn carnival when won at his Australian debut for new trainer Darren Weir at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Despite drifting towards the outside fence in the straight, Mongolian Wolf was too strong for his rivals in the Group 3 $150,000 Frank Packer Plate (2000m).
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This was the fifth successive week the feature three-year-old staying race on the Sydney Saturday program was won by a New Zealander — the sequence began with Gingernuts in the Rosehill Guineas, then Jon Snow won the Tulloch Stakes and ATC Australian Derby before Bonneval claimed the ATC Australian Oaks last week.
Mongolian Wolf is technically a local now as he only joined the Weir stable since his last run when unplaced in the New Zealand Derby last month but Sydney’s leading jockey Brenton Avdulla rode the gelding very confidently, even taking a look over his left and right shoulder at the top of the straight before driving on to victory.
“I guess it is not an ideal preparation switching stables between runs but I was confident because when you are going from Murray Baker to Darren Weir, they are two premier trainers, so the horse was in very good hands,’’ Avdulla said.
“We began well, ended up in a good sport and I was happy to find the fence where I let him switch off and relax. From there I just let the race unfold and got out on the point of the bend.
“I let him wander out towards the outside because I didn’t want to be in the middle of the track but I always felt he had the others covered.’’
Mongolian Wolf ($6) powered home to win by 1¼ lengths form Veladero ($7.50) with Screamarr ($9) a long neck away third. Acatour was sent out the $2.10 favourite and after he settled back second last, struggled to improve his position and ran a very disappointing eighth.
“He just didn’t switch on today,’’ jockey Blake Shinn said.
“He copped a slight check at the jump and got a bit further back than I wanted, but he was beaten a long way from home and didn’t run on.”
Weir was at Randwick but conceded he couldn’t take much credit for Mongolian Wolf’s win.
“I’ve only had him for two weeks, Murray Baker had him before me so big thanks to Murray for the order that the horse came over to me in,’’ Weir said.
“Luke (Murrell) and Jamie (Lovett) of Australian Bloodstock pick the right horses — they get it right more than they get it wrong and they’re getting the rewards. They put a lot of hard work into studying the form of horses and then trying to chase the right horses. When they get them it makes our job easier.
“They earmarked this horse three of four weeks ago, they said we were going to try to buy him and he’ll be a great Queensland Derby horse. The way he won today you’d have to say he’s on track for that.”
Redzel finds his groove
TRAINER Peter Snowden started talking about the Stradbroke Handicap and Brisbane Cup for Redzel after the sprinter’s brilliant all-the-way win at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Snowden was joking, of course, but his off-the-cuff remark was a reference to Redzel’s development into a seasoned, tough, top-class sprinter this season.
Earlier in his career, Redzel was flat out running 1100m but he is a superior sprinter now as he proved with his win in the Group 3 $150,000 Hall Mark Stakes over 1200m.
“There’s no better thing for a horse’s confidence than winning and Redzel’s doing that well now,’’ Snowden said. “He was unlucky his last two starts so I thought he deserved his win here
“He did a good job, the horse, full credit to him. He’s really toughened up now for recent racing. Because he races so hard, he’s so taxing on himself, I give him plenty of time to get over it and it works really well. He did a good job today in very testing conditions.”
Redzel was confidently backed into $2.80 favouritism and he defied his chasers, leading throughout to score by nearly a length from Counterattack ($7) with Hellbent ($3.90) a half length away third. Kerrin McEvoy continued his sensational surge of winners with his 11th success in seven days on Redzel.
“It’s a trip he hadn’t been great at before and had a couple of goes without earning a placing,’’ McEvoy said. “But he was off the back of a nice second in The Galaxy and he had conditions to suit today when he was able to dictate in front.
“Peter and Paul (Snowden) have handled him well, he had a nice freshen up coming into today and he loves being around the stable.’’
Redzel, a rising five-year-old raced by Michael and Chris Ward, scored his first win beyond 1100m and the sixth of his 16-start career to take his prizemoney over $700,000.
Snowden said Redzel has developed physically over the past 12 months and is a much stronger horse at the end of his races as a consequence.
“Redzel’s about 60-70kg heavier than he used to be as a three-year-old, he’s really developed now,’’ Snowden said. “He almost won a Group 1, got beaten a half head a month ago, so I don’t see a Group 1 being out of reach. A handicap would probably suit him but he does carry weight well so it is a good problem to have.
“We might look at a race like the Doomben 10,000 which is over 1200m now.’’
Takedown, the only Group 1 winner in the field, struggled under 60kg first-up in the heavy conditions and laboured home to run eighth.
Originally published as Wolf gets taste of carnival riches
SOURCE: newsnow sport