|Most Australian racegoers expected English Derby winner High Chaparral (IRE) to have a Group One winner here in Australia this spring, they just didn’t expect it to be Monaco Consul (NZ).
The top class Bart Cummings trained High Chaparral colt So You Think was in his box this Saturday awaiting the Group One MRC Caulfield Guineas next weekend, so it was left to unheralded Kiwi raider Monaco Consul (pictured www.stevehart.com.au ) to fly the flag for his young sire.
Lining up in the Group One AJC Spring Champion Stakes over 2000 metres at his fifth race start, the Mike Moroney trained colt emerged victorious at his first run in Australia.
The dark bay colt slid through along the rails with a powerful finishing burst to defeat courageous Tale of the Cat (USA) colt Gathering, who attempted to lead throughout, by a length and a half with Viking Legend (Elvstroem) closing for third.
“We thought he would win, although we were worried about the going,” said Mike Moroney.
“Paul (Moroney) thinks he’s the best horse he’s had since Xcellent and he may well be right.”
A son of versatile sire Pentire (GB), Xcellent won eight of 13 starts, four of them Group One and retired prematurely through injury with earnings of $1.4 million.
Monaco Consul arrived in Sydney with only one win to his credit, a length victory at Ellerslie over 1400 metres on August 22 and now has the overall record of two wins and a second from just five starts with prizemoney of $190,000.
“Early on he took a little while to settle and find his rhythm, but when he topped the rise he really lengthened out and sprinted quickly,” said winning rider Jay Ford.
Entered for the Group One $1.5 million VRC Victoria Derby on October 31st at Flemington, Monaco Consul could be looking at a seriously big pay day down the track.
“He will head to Melbourne next and he’ll go well,” added Moroney.
Monaco Consul was purchased by the Moroney’s for $100,000 from the Windsor Park Stud draft at the 2008 NZB Select Yearling Sale and is the first stakes-winner for the Star Way (GB) mare Argante, an unraced half-sister to dual Group One winner and successful sire Military Plume.
Going further back it’s the prolific Black Type family of New Zealand matriarch Froth, the family gaining fame here in recent times with Group One winning half-brothers Niconero and Nicconi.
Monaco Consul becomes the first Group One winner for Windsor Park based shuttle sire High Chaparral and is his 15th stakes-winner worldwide.
Based at Coolmore in the Northern Hemisphere alongside his famous sire Sadler’s Wells, High Chaparral (pictured) is establishing an enviable record and is in New Zealand at present covering a full book at a fee of $17,500.