His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum has strong NZ Oaks contender
Stephen McKee’s promising filly Moozoon (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) is on target to take her place in the Group One Wellfield New Zealand Oaks next month.
Bred and raced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Moozoon was too strong for her opposition on Saturday when winning the Coca Cola Oaks Prelude (1800m) under a hands and heels ride from Mark Sweeney. Despite over-racing early, Moozoon justified her favouritism, comfortably defeating Sports Illustrated and Porotene Park.
Moozoon was born and raised at Brighthill Farm, and is the second filly raised at the farm for the Sheikh to become a Group winner, and now a serious Group 1 contender - Rumya by Red Ransom was bred and raised here at the farm, she went on to be a dual Group 1 winner, and South African's leading race filly.
The win took the daughter of Perfectly Ready’s tally to four wins from just the eight career starts, the last two at stakes level having won the Group Three Desert Gold Stakes in January.
“She’s come through the race really well and I couldn't be happier," said trainer Stephen McKee.
"There’s not much of her, but her last two runs have involved a trip away and she’s settled well on the journey and recovered well on both occasions, which bodes well for a trip to Wellington for the Oaks."
Moozoon will have her final lead-up race for the Oaks in the Group Three Sunline Vase at Ellerslie (2100m) during the Auckland Cup Carnival, a race won by both More Than Sacred and Artistic prior to Oaks success in recent years.
“It will give me a line on whether or not she’ll get the Oaks trip," McKee said.
"All the evidence to date is that she will get a trip, but the fact she is by (former Group One sprinter) Perfectly Ready means I am unsure of her stamina.
"If she struggles at 2100m then we probably won’t start her in the Oaks, and we’ll bring her back to 1600m."
While Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum won't be venturing to Wellington for the Oaks, he will be ably represented by his Melbourne-based Racing Manager Tim Stakemire.
“I’ve told Tim to book his tickets and at this stage everything is on target.” - NZ Racing Desk