A pair of European imports have put the writing on the wall for the spring and given trainer Kris Lees plenty to think about as he plots their respective campaigns.
Mugatoo and Korcho, both syndicated by Australian Bloodstock, have stamped their class at Rosehill with impressive victories.
Resuming in Saturday’s Listed Winter Challenge (1500m), Mugatoo ($4.60 equal fav) settled back in the field for Hugh Bowman and peeled wide before comfortably rounding up his rivals to beat Sambro ($11) by three-quarters of a length.
Leader Taikomochi ($13) held third another 1-1/4 lengths away.
Mugatoo’s Rosehill win came on the back of a promising first Australian preparation, highlighted by a Canberra Cup victory and Manion Cup placing.
Next month’s Premier’s Cup (1900m) at Rosehill is likely to be Mugatoo’s next stop but beyond that Lees is keeping an open mind.
“He will be entered for everything. He’s the type who could go to an Epsom or a Metropolitan,” Lees said.
“He was a little bit fresh today but I shouldn’t judge him on that because he was first-up.
“I’m in no rush to get him to weight-for-age but this could be the season to try him at that level because he has the acceleration.”
Lees had been unsure if Mugatoo would be sharp enough to win the Winter Challenge and said a genuine pace helped his cause.
“We probably got a better tempo than what it looked on paper but he picked up some nice horses there and he was pretty strong through the line, which is what we wanted to see,” Lees said.
Riding for the first time in over a month following a winter break, Bowman brought up a treble on Mugatoo following earlier wins aboard Smart Image and Dancing Gidget.
He tracked Sam Clipperton on equal favourite Order Again into the race and said Mugatoo’s victory augured well for his future.
“He’s certainly a class horse and showed that in the final stages,” Bowman said.
“I think he is still very ‘wintry’ in the coat and has improvement in him.
“He put the writing on the wall last preparation and I think he has an exciting future.”
Korcho likewise impressed, backing up a middle-distance win two weeks ago with a 2400 metre victory under Nash Rawiller on Saturday.
Lees believes he will be better again in the autumn but will give him a chance to reach a higher level this preparation.
WHAT’S MAKING NEWS…
Story by racingandsports.comHaving purchased one on the first day, Australian Bloodstock and Ronald Rauscher were active once again on the second day of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses In Training Sale on Tuesday when they purchased two lots for an aggregate of...
Story by Damien Ractliffe for theage.com.au Damien Ractliffe is the Chief Racing Reporter for The Age.Andreas Wohler, who is the only international trainer to make the journey for the Melbourne Cup Carnival this year, says he can't wait to leave his "boring" Sydney...
Story by racingandsports.comProlific syndicators Australian Bloodstock paired up with Ronald Rauscher to purchase one-time winner Daysan (Temple City) from Shadwell for 75,000gns on the first day of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses In Training Sale on Monday. Catalogued...
Urbino Oct 25, 2020 Race 4 - Port Macquarie Margin 1.00 Kris Lees / A Gibbons $22,000 JOHN OXLEY MOTORS CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2000 METRES)He's done it again! URBINO (Dansili x Novellara) has rarely run a poor race but just couldn't find the line in front. At...
Enchanted Heart Oct 21, 2020 Race 7 - Randwick-Kensington Margin 1.30 Kris Lees / N Rawiller $50,000 TAB LONG MAY WE PLAY HANDICAP (1400 METRES)Our beautiful mare ENCHANTED HEART (Shamus Award x Shattered Heart) put on a dominant display at Randwick on the 21st!...
Graff Oct 17, 2020 Race 7 - Caulfield Margin 1.30 Danny O'Brien / D Oliver $300,000 McCafé Caulfield Sprint (1000m) The powerhouse that is GRAFF (Star Witness x Dinkum Diamond) demolished a quality field on Caulfield Cup day in the Group 2 McCafé Caulfield Sprint! Sat...