Lyndhurst Stud’s first-season stallion Hidden Dragon broke the ice for Australian freshman sires on Tuesday when his colt Steel Dragon won the Pallarenda Stakes (1000m) at Townsville.
Steel Dragon (2g Hidden Dragon – Vo Gold by Volksraad) camped just off the pace and overhauled pacemaker Whitsunday Express to score by a neck. The winner was a $20,000 buy from the 2009 Magic Millions QTIS 600 yearling sale and he banked $26,800 for connections and local trainer Ray Long at Cluden Park.
sportingbet.com.au quoted Hidden Dragon at $13 when it opened betting for Australia’s first season sires’ premiership for 2009-10.
A striking bay son of Danehill, Hidden Dragon raced in Hong Kong had the distinction of running Silent Witness to less than a length when finishing runner-up to the champion during his 17 race winning streak.
“I loved Hidden Dragon,” trainer Tony Cruz recalled recently. “He had a positive attitude, speed, and a constitution that all trainers dream about. Had he not been injured he would certainly have been a Hong Kong International Group 1 horse and I was looking forward to travelling with him internationally”.
Bred by Dean Fleming, Hidden Dragon was purchased at the Inglis Easter Sale for $700,000. He is a mirror image of his sire Danehill and his dam Ballroom Babe was a three-time Group 1 winner and was crowned Champion NZ 2YO in 1994-5.
From just 17 starts in Hong Kong, Hidden Dragon secured 6 wins from 1000m – 1400m including the Chinese Challenge Cup (G3). He retired to Lyndhurst with prize money of AUD 1.54 million.
“The Danehills tend to produce their best on a firm ground but Hidden Dragon showed versatility by winning on different surfaces,” Lyndhurst Stud manager Jeff Kruger said. “He raced in very good company and he was a genuine racehorse who could place himself well in a race and always ran on.”
Hidden Dragon stands at a $8,800 fee at Lyndhurst Stud and he covered 154 mares at a 92% fertility rate in his first season at the Warwick based nursery. The $13 being offered by sportingbet.com.au won’t last if the rest of the Hidden Dragons show the same precocity as Steel Dragon.