Saganaki impressed his owners again as he finished second in his trial at Newcastle Racecourse on April 24th.
After finishing third in his previous trial at Gosford on the 10th of April, Saganaki’s maturity and potential was on show once again as he looked the racehorse the miRunners owners and trainer Kris Lees expects him to be.
His fourth trial, since being purchased at the 2017 Gold Coast Magic Millions for $165,000, Kris Lees and his team were keen to work on the young gelding’s jump out of the gate, which was deemed an area in need of improvement after Saganaki’s trial in Gosford.
As Kris Lees’ Racing Manager Lucas Miller explains, “we missed the kick a little bit last trial so we just want to make sure he gets out of the gate, and because we are looking to run over 1200 metres we want him to really find the line and trial well today.”
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Before Saganaki’s trial, the miRunners owners had the opportunity to not only meet one another – some for the first time – but to head to the holding pens and say hello to their beloved horse and wish him all the best before his heat at 9.20am.
Saganaki was playful as always and his character is always on show for the owners. The young gelding has clearly matured and settled a lot in his stable life. He is easy to look after, eats well, he’s pretty calm and the girls all love him – which is what the miRunners owners all love to hear.
As with all miRunners events, the backstage access the owners had on the day was second to none. Following the opportunity to see their gelding get dressed before the heat, they were able to take in his warm up and then converse with Saganaki’s stable hand to chat about the horse’s progress.
To the delight of the owners, jockey Aaron Bullock was called upon once again to ride Saganaki and as always, looked an imposing figure in his miRunners silks. The owners made their way to the owners’ pavilion, eager to see their boy trial.
Finishing an impressive second, Aaron was delighted at how Saganaki performed. Quick out the gates, Saganaki showed a massive improvement. As Aaron summarised to the owners at the end of the trial, “the other day he was just half hearted, I had to really dig him to get there, today he jumped really well, he jumped a lot better than his last trial, which would suggest he would be ready for his first race”.
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Aaron went on to describe Saganaki’s overall progress, “to me he will be nice ‘miler’, at his first trial he was off a bit and still finished behind them, which is a good sign, horses don’t usually do that. Today I was happy he travelled through the trial with me and showed a huge improvement from his previous trial. He will be a horse that will take a couple of runs but will be winning races by the time he gets to a mile, he has that lovely relaxed nature, doesn’t have the best turn of foot but he will stay all day. Out there he is a beautiful ride, you wouldn’t get a better ride”.
For Saganaki to show such an improvement from his last trial only a few weeks before is a great indication of his maturity and potential as a racehorse. When the owners asked what was next for Saganaki, Lucas explained, “we might have to start him at an open maiden, against older horses because the distance is more critical than the opposition at the moment. We wouldn’t start him less than 1200. The Program for 2-year-olds this time of year is 900-1000m. Then there is a mile race. It’s very hard because he turns three soon. We will find the most appropriate option for him. There is a maiden every week, so he can race against the older horses which will be a great experience for him. We will start nominating for various venues and find the best option for him.”
With their final goodbyes to Saganaki, the owners called it a day at the Newcastle Racecourse. While Saganaki’s journey is very exciting for his owners, you can also feel the excitement of premium thoroughbred ownership. Saganaki is sold out but there are four very good horses currently for sale with some of Australia’s best trainers.
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