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Source The Informant News Site. Daryl Curnow
Basser (David Walsh) scours a first New Zealand win for his onwer-breeder, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum at Threntham today.
Redemption may have not been the initial thought running through the connections’ minds when Baseer won on debut at Trentham last Saturday, but already he has achieved more locally than another of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s runners.
The Sheikh-owned and McKee-trained Eagle Mountain continued racing in New Zealand as a nine-year-old but couldn’t find the champion form earlier displayed worldwide.
Instead it was up to Baseer, a Perfectly Ready colt out of Zaheeya, who has already left the Group-placed Dylan Thomas colt Zahee.
Brighthill Farm studmaster Nick King explains the significance of Baseer’s’ win. “It’s a very pleasing win. For the Sheikh to get this first New Zealand winner in association with Brighthill Farm is wonderful.”
With the temptation to get carried away in what was only a maiden win, King remains humble yet optimistic with Saturday’s win. “Obviously it was only a maiden win but hopefully he can kick on from here. This is just another step along the way, but he’s a horse with ability.”
New Zealand is world renowned for being a good breeding ground and King recognises that the Sheikh is showing good faith in that belief.
“He races horses internationally; all around the world. He’s a big player and it just shows how much confidence he has here,” said King. “It’s a benefit to everybody that they want to associate themselves with New Zealand, a real honour.”
King is also confident about Baseer’s’ pedigree and overall appearance. “His half-brother was Zahee, who was Group-placed in Dubai. Zaheeya is a good looking mare, and Baseer follows suit,” describes King. “He was a good looking yearling.”
Being taken to race in Dubai is a possible future option for Baseer, to follow in Zahee’s footsteps, but for the meantime Ardmore trainer, Stephen McKee, is looking no further than his next run, which will conclude Baseer’s’ racing till the spring.
“He’ll have one more run this time in and it’ll either be the Castletown Stakes at Wanganui or the Northern Foal Stakes at Ellerslie,” said McKee.
The win didn’t come easy for Baseer as the track conditions weren’t to suit and his lack of experience hindered him when rounding the final turn, but class alone got him over the line.
“His run was alright as he’s got a little bit to learn. He got lost at the crossing and the track was still a damper than he likes. He goes well on a good track, but got there in the end,” said McKee