Lang star off to Hong Kong

Today’s Rotorua meeting unleashed an exciting galloper from the Cambridge stable of Darrel and Roger Lang, but New Zealand racegoers will not see him in action again.

Joyful The Great, a son of Coat’s Choice, simply toyed with his opposition in the Taupo Cosmopolitan Club 1230, racing away to an effortless three and a half length victory over Summer’s Boy.

It was the three-year-old’s first start and he started a warm favourite as the result of good trials form and the fact he was ridden by the top jockey James McDonald.

On track to watch the performance was prominent central districts bloodstock agent Phil Cataldo, who had just weeks earlier bought the horse for a Hong Kong client, Chuen Hang Lo.

“I bought Nightlign for the same owner,” said Cataldo. “He won a couple up there and has been third in a Group Three race.”

Nightlign was unbeaten as a two-year-old in New Zealand, culminating in victory in the Group I Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes at Awapuni.

Joyful The Great was originally purchased from his South Island breeder by co-trainer Darrel Lang, who had prepared two of the horse’s half-brothers One Shot and Hard To Say. One Shot (by Chagall) has since won four races in Australia and Hard To Say (by Eltawaasul) has won twice in Malaysia.

“I bought him (Joyful The Great) as a weanling out of the paddock for $13,000,” said Lang. “Both his half-brothers had ability, but this one is much better.”

Lang said Joyful The Great showed talent right from the outset. “He’s a lovely mover,” said Lang. “He won his first trial then ran third in one at Te Aroha and I put him aside for a while.”

Cataldo had noticed those early trials, but it was the third trial, at Cambridge on February 28, which sealed the deal for him to purchase the horse on behalf of his Hong Kong client.

“He really impressed me with the way he won in a fast time,” said Cataldo. “And making him a bit more appealing is the fact the second dam left Super Kid, a top horse up there.”

Joyful The Great is from the one-race winner Yeogor Lass (by Sir Chromar), who is a half-brother to Super Kid, the champion stayer in Hong Kong in 2004. Super Kid (by Gaius) won eight races including the Hong Kong Gold Cup.

Before being sold to Hong Kong, Super Kid had  raced in New Zealand from Kevin Gray’s stable as Cheerine Kid and won the Waikato Guineas and finished third in the Bayer Classic.

McDonald had Joyful The Great tracking the pacemaker Summer’s Boy to the home turn and when he asked for an effort the response was immediate. And it was not only the winning margin which impressed onlookers, it was also his action.

Cataldo said Joyful The Great would probably have a month to six-week spell in New Zealand before being sent to Hong Kong, for which he is now qualified having won today’s $8000 event.