Oaks dream alive for Waikato radiologist

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  • March 02, 2023
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Waikato Hospital radiologist Xavier Kos is dreaming of an Oaks victory with his filly Mehzebeen after she broke through for her maiden win at Awapuni on Wednesday.

Kos moved to New Zealand from France, where he developed his interest in thoroughbreds, and Mehzebeen is his first foray into horse ownership in this part of the world.

Under their Sarai Stud banner, Kos and his wide Beatrice Hild went to $50,000 to secure Mehzebeen out of Pencarrow Stud’s 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Sale draft at the behest of former New Zealand Bloodstock Sales Manager Danny Rolston, who now works for the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

“We bought her on the advice of Danny Rolston, who is part of the team (of owners) with his parents and their friends. Danny is a friend of mine and a good horseman,” Kos said.

“We also have Mark Davis, a cardiologist that works with me, and Sonia Waddell from Riverdale Farm (in the ownership).

“It’s not every day that you can win a race, so we need to enjoy the good times, and she’s the first horse we bought when we came to New Zealand four years ago.

“We have a few mares now at home, and we are probably more into breeding than racing. But we bought Mehzebeen with a view to breed in the future and she’s from a good family of Sir Peter Vela’s.”

While Kos wasn’t able to be on track to witness Mehzebeen’s debut victory, he can’t wait to head to Trentham on March 18 to watch her compete in the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m).

“It’s a shame we were not at Palmerston North today, but I’m at the hospital working, and we will definitely be there for the Oaks at Trentham,” he said.

“It’s unbelievable that we will soon have a filly in a Group One race. She’s a big filly, needs some time to mature and will probably be better as a four-year-old.”

Kos has recently returned from France where he visited Haras d’Etreham who stand Mehzebeen’s sire Almanzor.

“I have been away in Europe and I told Nicolas De Chambure, who is head of Haras d’Etreham, where Almanzor stands in France, that we have the dream of having the second Group One winner for Almanzor,” Kos said.

Trainer Mark Walker was pleased with Wednesday’s performance and is now looking forward to the Oaks later this month with his filly.

“It was a good strong staying effort by the filly and a lovely ride of Opie’s (Bosson),” Walker said.

“She stepped up in trip after a good effort over 2000m. She’s bred to get that sort (2200m) of trip, improved each race, and she’ll head towards the New Zealand Oaks now.”

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