Australian syndicator seeking autumn gold with Kiwi import

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  • March 17, 2023
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Australian syndicator Darby Racing are daring to dream of Group glory with their recent New Zealand import Goldman.

The son of Verdi has made an instant impression since joining Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s Randwick stable and they are now contemplating some bigger targets over the Sydney Autumn Carnival with the four-year-old gelding.

Initially trained in New Zealand by Tony Pike, Goldman won two and placed in one of his four starts in his homeland before a deal was brokered with Darby Racing.

He didn’t set the world on fire in his two trials at Randwick earlier this year, but he sent his connections into a state of shock following the manner in which he dismantled his rivals in his Australian debut, winning by 5.3 lengths at Kembla Grange last month.

He put in another impressive performance at Warwick Farm on Wednesday when winning over 2400m by a similar margin and now his connections are dreaming of more than just Saturday racing with the gelding.

“He has blown us away,” Darby Racing director Scott Darby said.

“He showed some good ability in New Zealand and he was highly recommended by Robbie Waterhouse, who does ratings on all the horses that are offered to the Waterhouse Stable.

“We quite liked him on what he had done, but when he trialled here I think the whole team was like ‘we have got a nice horse here, but certainly over a distance’.

“What he did at Kembla blew me away. I expected to see something pretty good yesterday but you are going in thinking that he just beat poor opposition, which he did, but I think he is something pretty special.

“I have only had brief conversations with Gai and Adrian and it has taken us all a bit by surprise, not so much yesterday, but his first-up win.

“Initially Adrian was talking about taking him along slowly and continuing through those benchmarks, but it might be hard not to consider a race like the Chairman’s (Gr.2) over 2600m in two-and-a-half weeks time, but I will leave that to the Waterhouse Stable.

“When you see a horse dominating like that, and on the upward spiral, it is hard not to think about leapfrogging a couple of benchmark races to go to those better races.”

Darby said their initial hopes were to get Goldman to Saturday grade racing and he is over the moon the gelding appears to be more than up to that mark.

“We import from Europe, and now a few from New Zealand, and you always hope you can get that Saturday-class horse,” he said.

“Our prizemoney is so good that even a Saturday-class horse you are going to pay for in a couple of starts.

“That is what you are hoping to achieve and above that is a bonus. He is well and truly on his way to exceeding that already.

“Without getting ahead of ourselves, it was a midweek race, but I think everybody would agree that he has stamped himself as a definite Saturday and beyond horse.”

With Goldman’s success, Darby said they will look to import more tried horses from New Zealand.

“We have only had the odd Kiwi horse from yearling stage,” he said. “We haven’t really ventured into importing the tried horses.

“It has only been in the last four or five years that we have really got involved in the European side of things.

“Naturally there is a hunger for stayers in Australia, and Europe is getting harder and harder, so you look back to good old New Zealand who always produce great stayers.”

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