Kiwi-bred primed for Queensland Derby

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  • May 28, 2024
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27 May 2024

Trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr are hoping their Gr.1 South Australia Derby (2500m) runner-up Warmonger can go one better when he heads to Eagle Farm on Saturday to contest the Gr.1 Queensland Derby (2400m).

Kent believes there is further improvement from the New Zealand-bred son of War Decree ahead of his Brisbane assignment this weekend.

“I think his pattern where he has been getting back and running on, if there’s any silver lining from that, is that he’s been pulling up super from those races,” Kent told

“He’s still got plenty of petrol left in the tank and he’s been thriving since Adelaide. He’s put on weight, muscle and just maintained his summer coat.

“He had two Brisbane-way gallops on the grass before he left, and I think the horse is flying.

“So, now we just have a pretty easy week leading in. Blake Shinn takes the ride and I think he’ll run super; I really think he will.”

Kent said Warmonger has settled in well in Queensland.

“He travelled up there on Tuesday, he went up there with about 15 horses and arrived there in beautiful condition,” he said.

“He’s coped with the travel really well. He hasn’t had a gut-busting run all preparation.

“The way he’s been coming out of the gates and dawdling out is that he is just hitting the line with gusto and coming out of the race feeling good about himself.

“You don’t want to reinvent the horse, but you want him to be in touch.

“It would have been okay last time (in the South Australian Derby) had they gone along faster. I should have read the play better. As soon as Air Assault got the lead, he dropped anchor. They were fearful he wouldn’t stay and went 14 (seconds) to the furlong.

“We took blinkers off in an effort to make him jump better and settle better, and he raced tractably, so that’s staying off, we’re not touching with his gear.

“If we can draw a middle gate, settle midfield on a big track like Eagle Farm, it should be a really nice race for him.”

Out of the winning Savabeel mare Princess Sapphire, Warmonger was bred by Kevin Hickman and sold as a yearling for $75,000 before being presented at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2022 Ready To Run Sale by Prima Park. Riccarton trainer Shane Kennedy went to $165,000 to secure the youngster, having prepared his Almanzor half-sister Blue Solitaire to finish third behind Legarto in the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).

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