First stakes winner for Chinese Dragon

Goodwood Stud sire Chinese Dragon was credited his with his maiden black type win in the LR New Zealand St Leger at Trentham on Saturday.

His first crop stayer Serpent (NZ) had won lead-up races at Pukekohe and Ellerslie which encouraged trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman to target the St Leger.  “He’s always showed that the further he goes the better he will be,” Forsman said.  “Three-year-olds are well off in this race.  Harris Tweed was fourth in it and then ran second in the AJC Derby, so there’s options open.”

Serpent (3g Chinese Dragon – Twizzle by Arazi) rolled to the front under Vinnie Colgan and was left alone while dictating an easy pace.  Kept going in the run home, he was still more than two lengths clear on the line from Juggernaut Rock (Stratum) and Star of Tralee (Zabeel).

Even money favourite Asavant (Zabeel) looked to have every chance but didn’t threaten in the closing stages to finish fourth.

Chinese Dragon is a USA bred son of Stravinsky and won 7 of his 13 starts to G2 level with explosive turn of foot.  “He hasn’t had many to the races and his strike rate isn’t too bad at all so hopefully there’s going to be many more to come,” Goodwood Stud’s William Fell said.  “We bred and sold Serpent so it’s a great result for us.”

Serpent was a $25,000 NZB Select Sale yearling at Karaka for Scott Richardson Bloodstock.  His Irish bred dam Twizzle is a half-sister to G3 Chester Vase winner Twist And Turn (Groom Dancer) and G3 Curragh Gallinule Stakes winner Meath (Sadler’s Wells).