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Mo’unga, a three-year-old colt based in Waller’s Sydney stable at Rosehill, is unbeaten after two starts, form which has him on track for the Group One Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick on October 10.
The son of prolific sire Savabeel was installed as the early favourite for a spring carnival feature after a commanding victory at Newcastle last Saturday.
A $325,000 purchase by Queensland-based breeders Aquis Farm at the New Zealand Bloodstock yearling sales in 2019 has, like his namesake, so far proven adaptable in all conditions for a syndicate of owners from Hong Kong.
Aquis Farm managing director Shane McGrath said staff, including New Zealand-born head trainer Kacy Fogden, played a role in naming the colt after he paraded impressively at Karaka.
“Each morning our team met at the Waikato (Stud) marquee for breakfast and every time this horse was out walking, he really took our eye,” he said.
“He’s a stunning looking individual. We were more than happy to buy him and when we arrived back to our Queensland base, there’s quite a Kiwi contingent working at the farm including Kacy.
“I suppose you can’t be a Kiwi if you’re not an All Black supporter. Richie Mo’unga was the name of everyone’s lips, it just seemed an appropriate name for the horse.
“He’s off to a bright start and hopefully he does the name justice.”