After being written off as a racing prospect in Hong Kong following a serious tendon injury, Historian returned from the wilderness to score a game win in the G1 Thorndon Mile at Trentham on Saturday.
Historian (5g Choisir – Cyclonic by Marauding) showed plenty of heart after racing three wide for the entire journey to down classy mares Lady Kipling (Savabeel) and Miss Pelear (Mr. Nancho). The big, bold gelding was racing third-up after 93 weeks on the sidelines.
“We got him back from Hong Kong and, although he’s been in work for seven months, he hardly ever sees a track with most of his work done on the treadmill,” trainer Gary Alton said. “He was a bit stroppy around the stable when he first came back into work but he settled down and is as good as gold now that we have him in a routine he enjoys.”
Alton hails from a family of horsemen. His father Ian, who died earlier this month, was a highly-respected trainer and his grandfather Archie Millen part-owned 1950s champion Somerset Fair who won 20 stakes races in NZ and Australia.
Historian is the fifth Group 1 winner for Coolmore Stud shuttler Choisir following champion international sprinter Starspangledbanner, Olympic Glory (Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere), Choice Bro (Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes) and Sacred Choice (VRC Myer Classic & AJC Doncaster Hcp).
Historian was a $40,000 buy for owner Chun Hung Ngai out of Lyndhurst Farm’s draft at the 2009 NZ Bloodstock Premier yearling sale. The owner sent him to Hong Kong following a second-placed finish to Jimmy Choux in the 2011 New Zealand Derby.
He is the only foal to race for Cyclonic who won a Stawell maiden for trainer Bruce Elkington in December 2005. She was sold for $17,000 to agent Steve Brem acting for NZ clients at the 2006 Inglis Melbourne June Sale.
The mare changed hands again at the 2012 NZ Bloodstock Broodmare Sale when making $40,000 to the bid of Jamieson Park. Her Sakhee’s Secret filly will be offered by Highbury Park as Lot 550 at the NZB Select yearling sale this coming Wednesday, January 30.