Pictured above: Moozoon (Mark Sweeney) has the measure of Miss Selby in the Desert Gold Stakes.
Stephen McKee threw the dice and came up with a big result as last Saturday’s Pukekohe winner Moozoon added the Gr.3 Tiger Prawn Desert Gold Stakes at Trentham today.
Victory in the three-year-old fillies’ feature proved a major boost for the local bloodstock investment made by Moozoon’s internationally renowned breeder, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum. He also raced the filly’s sire Perfectly Ready, who stands at Brighthill Farm in the Waikato, where his New Zealand bloodstock are reared.
“The first horse I trained for the Sheikh was Assafa about 10 years ago and I’ve had a few more lately,” said McKee. “This filly won well last week and when she came through it well I thought we may as let her take her chance.
“She’s got a very good turn of foot and she holds an entry for the (New Zealand) Oaks, so we might be back here in the autumn.”
The win provided a welcome return to the black-type list for popular lightweight jockey Mark Sweeney, whose last feature win was the Gr. 2 Travis Stakes on Pimms Time back in April.
“Bootsie does a bit of pinch-hitting for the stable and he picked up the ride last week when Josh Adams fell ill,” said McKee. “They got on well so I thought it made sense to leave him on.”
Moozoon got herself into the action soon after straightening, but no sooner had she hit the lead than Miss Selby appeared wide out and looked set to run on by.
The northern filly had something left, however, and she was strong to the line as she clung to her lead. Miss Selby held second comfortably from the favourite Costa Viva, who had looked likely as she made ground out wide but wasn’t able to round off her effort.
Rider Matt Cameron reported that the New Zealand 1000 Guineas winner was reluctant to let down, which showed when she lugged in over the final stages.
“We’ll get her home and see where she’s up to, but we might need to revise our plans to step her up over ground in the Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic,” said trainer Jason Bridgman.
Dennis Ryan - The Informant.