After a long journey that has spanned three countries, Simply Fabulous is set to kick off his racing career at Te Rapa on Saturday.
The Danica Guy-trained gelding will line up in the Happy 60th Birthday Andy (1400m), with Michael Coleman to ride from gate nine.
By Lawman out of a stakes-winning mare, and from a family stacked with black type, Simply Fabulous was bred in France.
He was bought by the Hong Kong Jockey Club for 260,000 euro at the 2016 Arqana Yearling Sale in Deauville, then fetched HK$2.7 million at the Hong Kong International Sale two years later. But he never raced in Hong Kong.
“He injured a hind foot up there and had to have a couple of minor operations,” said Guy, who now shares ownership of the four-year-old with her mother Gayle, along with Duley Nicolson.
“They just weren’t able to get it to settle down properly in that environment up there. In the end the owners gifted the horse to me. I put him out in a paddock for three months and he came right – the circulation improved and he made really good progress.”
Simply Fabulous improved to the point of coming into work, then having three hitouts at the trials. After finishing fourth at Taupo on June 11, he has scored stylish wins in two subsequent appearances – most recently by five and a half lengths over 1100 metres at Te Rapa on Monday.
“He’s looked pretty smart in his trials,” Guy said. “He just keeps getting better. He’s still green. He hadn’t done much until recently, and everything he had done, he tended to do things wrong.
“But he’s starting to put it together now and he obviously has a bit of ability.
“Saturday’s race looks like a nice starting point for him. He’s bred to go over a trip, so we’ll get Saturday out of the way and take it from there. He’ll probably step up over a bit further later on.”
A multiple Group One-winning trainer based in Matamata, Guy currently has 15 horses in work.
She also stands Rios, the sire of her Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) winner Gaultier, for a fee of $2,500. She bought him from Waikato Stud on Gavelhouse last year.
“He was ill last season with a lung infection and we didn’t end up being able to serve any mares with him, which was a shame,” she said. “But he’s all good again now, so he’s here and ready to go if anyone would like to use him this season.” – NZ Racing Desk