Australian bred colt Mongolian Khan (3c Holy Roman Emperor x Centafit, by Centaine) proved himself as the best three year-old stayer in Australasia with a courageous victory in the Group I ATC Australian Derby at Randwick on Easter Monday.
Prepared by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, the dark bay son of former Coolmore shuttler Holy Roman Emperor (IRE) won the Group I New Zealand Derby on February 28, but was only fifth when making his Australian debut in the Group I ATC Rosehill Guineas two weeks ago.
He turned that form right around when stepped up to the 2400 metres, powering to the line for Opie Bosson to win the Blue Riband by three-quarters of a length.
“He just loves that two-four (2400 metres), he keeps grinding away,” said Bosson, who has won five of his six rides on the colt.
It was the third ATC Australian Derby win for Murray Baker, who has also tasted success with Nom du Jeu (Montjeu) in 2008 and two years ago with Dundeel (High Chaparral), all three of his winners sired by Coolmore stallions.
Baker explained that it was no easy task to keep Mongolian Khan up after his win in the New Zealand Derby.
“He went for a five day break after the Derby and then came over here, but he was very disappointing in the Rosehill Guineas,” Baker said.
“We started swimming him and changed a few things around and we thought he’d be better today.”
Mongolian Khan is owned by the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry Company, a consortium that is headed by Manchurian business magnate, Mr Lang Ling. The organisation has had a major impact on the New Zealand breeding industry in the past few years where they have purchased in excess of 500 horses through the auction ring or via private sales.
“The owners are keen for the Melbourne Cup,” revealed Murray Baker.
“He’ll go for a break now and then we’ll look at the spring. I know he runs a strong two- four (2400 metres), but three-two (3200 metres) might be a question mark.”
A successful pinhook two times over, Mongolian Khan was a $9,000 Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale purchase from the Grenville Stud draft, then made $140,000 as a yearling at the NZB Select Yearling Sale and was then re-sold for $220,000 at the 2013 NZB Ready To Run Sale of two-year-olds.
Mongolian Khan has now taken his record to seven wins from just nine starts with prizemoney of $1.9 million.
Bred by Tasmanian based Grenville Stud, Mongolian Khan is a half-brother to Group I winner Young Centaur and is one of seven Group I winners for Holy Roman Emperor, a brilliant two year old by Danehill from the family of champion Australian sires Flying Spur and Encosta de Lago.