Trainer Darryl Lang breathed a sigh of relief when Joyful the Great (NZ) played his part in the plan which will see him exported to Hong Kong.
Lang, who trains in partnership with his father Roger, was understandably keyed-up leading into the three-year-olds first race at Rotorua last week. Connections, encouraged by an impressive trial win in February, had added $1,000 to the stake of the race to meet the $8,000 win requirement to enter Hong Kong.
“I was pretty nervous but we have always had a lot of faith in him from a young horse,” Darryl Lang said. “We try to sell horses that will go on. It’s just been about keeping this horse in cotton wool.”
Joyful The Great (3g Coats Choice – Yeogor Lass by Sir Chromar) was purchased privately for $13,000 as a weanling. “I’ve had his two older brothers One Shot and Hard To Say who have won races in Malaysia,” Lang explained. “Their dam Yeogor Lass throws very good moving horses and they all have very good actions.
“Joyful the Great still has a lot to learn but he could be something special. Hopefully, he is and I wouldn’t mind a trip to Hong Kong to watch him.”
New Zealand’s leading jockey James McDonald obliged as a last-minute replacement at Rotorua and he also rates the Coats Choice gelding highly. “He is a lovely big, free-striding horse and quickened when I asked,” McDonald said. “He’s going to be an exciting horse up there in Hong Kong.”
Joyful The Great is managed by bloodstock agent Phil Cataldo for owner C H Lo. He is by South Island-based sire Coats Choice and his dam Yeogor Lass is a half-sister to 2004 Champion Hong Kong Stayer Super Kid (Gaius).
Coats Choice is a Redoute’s Choice three-quarter brother to Catbird. He was runner-up to Picket Fence on debut in the 2003 LR Debutant Stakes at Caulfield but injured a sesamoid and was sidelined after just five starts.
Exported to New Zealand, Coats Choice stands at Berkley Stud in Christchurch and has sired 32 individual winners in his first two crops including the Listed winners Milo (Dunedin & Gore Guineas), Natuzzi (Southland Guineas) and No Choice (NZB Insurance Stake).