COOLMORE sire High Chaparral enjoyed a memorable Saturday with four impressive winners – a superstar son, a Cups contender, a Derby bound 3YO and a serious Hong Kong up and comer.
Last year’s Cox Plate hero So You Think (4h High Chaparral – Triassic by Tights) looked nothing short of sensational in scoring a commanding win over his stablemate Dariana in the G1 MRC Underwood Stakes over 1800 metres at Caulfield.
The Bart Cummings trained four year-old entire settled just behind the leaders for Steven Arnold before tracking into the race on the turn and from that point it was all over. He strode away up the straight to win as he pleased in a thoroughly dominant performance that will have him a hot favourite to repeat his Cox Plate success last year.
“He was a little bit stirred up today, especially in the preliminary,” Arnold said. “It was three weeks since his last run so he was a bit fresh.
“He got a couple of bumps in the run and he raced a bit aggressive mid-race. He came up underneath me at the 400 metres and I knew he was going to win from there.”
A $110,000 purchase for DGR Thoroughbreds from the Windsor Park Stud draft at the 2008 NZB Premier Yearling Sale, So You Think is raced by long time Cummings client and friend Dato Tan Chin Nam in partnership with Tunku Ahmad Yahaya.
The star four year-old has won five of eight starts earning $2.5 million in prizemoney during his brief career to date.
Bred by NZ based hobby breeder Cecile Smith in partnership with Windsor Park Stud’s Mike Moran and wife Helen, So You Think is the seventh living foal of Group Two winner Triassic.
DESCARADO made it a stakes double for High Chaparral when the Gai Waterhouse trained gelding led throughout to win the Group 2 STC Hill stakes over 1900 metres at Rosehill beating Group 1 winners Triple Honour and Purple.
Descarado (4g High Chaparral – Karamea Lady by Lord Ballina) was second to Shoot Out in the Group One AJC Derby during the autumn, Descarado will head to Melbourne now on a Cups campaign.
“I get such a kick when I see a horse like this,” Waterhouse said. “He’s taken a while to get right, I couldn’t get his coat right but after last Saturday I said, ‘I think I’ve got you’”.
Withdrawn by Windsor Park Stud from the 2008 NZB Premier Yearling Sale, Descarado started his racing career in New Zealand before being purchased privately by clients of the Gai Waterhouse stable and now has the overall record of three wins and five placings from 12 starts with prizemoney of $446,083.
Descarado is the 21st stakes-winner for High Chaparral and is one of 10 winners for his dam Karamea Lady, who was 18 years old when she had him.
MACKADOO stamped himself as a future stakes-winner for High Chaparral when he won the open three year-old event over 1700 metres at Caulfield.
Mackadoo (3c High Chaparral – Staring by Fiesta Star) was having just his fourth race start but proved too good for the regally bred colt Altius, a half-brother to Group 1 stars Haradasun and Elvstroem.
“He’s a bit fat at the moment but he’s improved a lot in the last two weeks,” trainer Murray Baker said. “We’ve been swimming him and really dishing it up to him.”
The Kiwi conditioner bought the colt privately as a yearling. He said Mackadoo had missed some work before making his Melbourne debut when running seventh to Hollowlea at Flemington on September 4. “I think there is a bit of improvement in him and he is out of a NZ Oaks winner (Staring) so we hope he gets a trip,” said Baker. “I did train the mother, she won the Oaks. She hasn’t left much so we’re hoping this is the one.”
Mackadoo has won two of four starts and will get his chance for black type on the way to the G1 VRC Victoria Derby on October 30.
Mackadoo is one of four winners for the Fiesta Star mare Staring who was the Champion 3YO Filly in New Zealand in 1991/1992.
High Chaparral’s fourth winner on Saturday came in Hong Kong when his son Let Me Handle It won the Lung Shan Handicap over 1600m at Sha Tin in his first run for the new season. The Coolmore sire’s next crop of yearlings to go to sale will certainly be hot property at the 2011 yearling sales series around Australasia.