Group I New Zealand Derby aspirant Mongolian Khan (3c Holy Roman Emperor x Centafit, by Centaine) stepped it up a notch on the weekend when taking out the Group II Waikato Guineas at Te Rapa.
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman enjoyed a good run in transit for Opie Bosson, surging clear to win the 2000 metre contest in good style.
“He relaxed beautifully and came up underneath me when I wanted him to,” Bosson said.
“He always had the others covered and he’s only going to improve. The Derby trip will be ideal for him.”
The Waikato Guineas was the first run for Mongolian Khan since December 14, so he will strip a fitter three-year-old for his return to Ellerslie for the Group II Avondale Guineas on February 14.
“He hadn’t raced for seven weeks and I thought he could have been a bit vulnerable,” said co-trainer Murray Baker.
“This horse has quite a bit of upside and I thought he may have needed the run, but his class got him through.
“He’s a beautiful colt and he’s going to take a lot of improvement from this into the Avondale Guineas and then the Derby.”
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.
A successful pinhook having been bought for $140,000 as a yearling and 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 four wins from just five starts and is among the favourites for the Group I New Zealand Derby in March behind early favourite Volkstok’n’barrell.
Mongolian Khan is a half-brother to Group I winner Young Centaur and is one of 47 stakes-winners for Holy Roman Emperor.