Patrick Payne’s Kiwi connection added another class act to its repertoire at Sandown on Wednesday.
Payne trained Baron Douro (NZ) to a stylish victory in the Hyland Race Colours Hcp (1400m) on the Hillside circuit and immediately labelled the gelding a black-type winner in waiting.
Baron Douro (3g Bachelor Duke – Galaxy Of Angels by Shinko King) had won a Ballarat maiden at his only other start in July. “We bought him off Kevin Myers and he has a bit of scope for improvement,” Payne predicted. “Kevin said he was a very nice horse for the future and would get better with time.”
Baron Douro is owned by Josh and Thecla Xippell and their green and white silks have adorned Group 1 winners like Helenus and Sirmione. Helenus won the 2002 Caulfield Guineas – Victoria Derby and Payne has nominated Baron Douro for the Caulfield classic on October 8.
“We put him in the Guineas as a precaution,” Payne revealed. “He’s still pretty immature and I don’t really want to overtax him at this stage.”
Myers bought Baron Douro for $25,000 from Stellar Lodge at the 2010 NZ Bloodstock 2YO Ready to Run Sale at Karaka.
His sire Bachelor Duke (Miswaki) was a G1 Irish 2000 Guineas winner and is based at The Oaks Stud. He stayed at the Cambridge based property instead of returning to Ballylinch Stud last year.
The Oaks owner Dick Karreman kept Bachelor Duke in NZ after he won the first-season sires’ premiership ahead of Savabeel and High Chaparral.
His first southern crop was headed by the John Wheeler trained Keyora who was a G2 winner of the Wellington Breeders’ Guineas and Hawkes Bay Guineas.
Frank Ritchie also won two stakes races with The Oaks homebred Obsession. She won the G2 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at Pukekohe and the LR Westbury Classic at Ellerslie.
South Island based filly Shuka was the mainstay of his latest crop winning the G2 Wakefield Challenge at Trentham in January.
Shuka is from a Cape Cross mare and that sireline has been a productive one for Payne and Myers.
Payne’s Plumpton stable is also home to Cape Cross gelding Capecover who won the G2 Adelaide Cup last year. He is part-owned by Myers and has taken to hurdling with a vengeance winning his last four over the jumps at Sandown and Bendigo.
Capecover (NZ) has just passed $1 million in earnings which is a tremendous mark-up on the $40,000 he cost Myers from the Esker Lodge draft at the 2004 NZ Bloodstock yearling sale.