Blue-bloods might be in the headlines of late with the 2013 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale fast approaching, but it was a gelding that combines the blood of a string of failed sires that gave up and coming trainer Bjorn Baker his first Group race win at Rosehill on Saturday.
A four year-old son of King Cugat (USA), Havana Rey (pictured Steve Hart) has been a model of consistency since running second on debut in a Hawkesbury maiden in October 2011.
He has steadily improved with each preparation and progressed through his grades to the extent that his trainer decided to throw him in the deep end last start by running in the Group I ATC Chipping Norton Stakes at weight-for-age.
Havana Rey acquitted himself well in finishing fifth to Shoot Out on that occasion and dropped back to the handicap conditions of the Group II ATC Ajax Stakes, looked well placed.
He led all the way for Glyn Schofield and held off all challengers to win by a length, his overall record now eight wins and four placings from 21 starts with prizemoney of $536,130.
“He has been a very special horse,” said Bjorn Baker. “He was our first city winner, first Saturday winner and he is my first Group winner in Sydney as well.
“He only galloped very, very average on Tuesday so we were debating whether to come here. It is a funny game this horse racing game.”
Retained to race by his breeder, Havana Rey is by underperforming shuttle sire King Cugat, who started his stud career at Widden Stud and left the Group I winner Devil Moon, before gradually fading to obscurity in Victoria where he covered just six mares last spring.
Havana Rey is the first winner for Dydeedoe, a minor winner by King of Kings (IRE) from a placed daughter of Red Anchor in Blush.
While King of Kings and Red Anchor were both outstanding racehorses, neither could be called a success at stud and the only other stakes-winner in the immediate pedigree of Havana Rey is Norwegian Oaks winner Alhayat, who is his fourth dam.
The considerable success of Havana Rey gives hope to all breeders and owners that can’t afford commercial sires or expensive yearlings.
Dydeedoe has a yearling colt by Mosayter (USA) and a colt foal by the same sire.
(From www.breednet.com.au – Tara Madgwick – Saturday, 30 March 2013)