Young Conqueror will tackle the Winton Businesses Cup. Photo: Wild Range Photography
Big brother Young Conqueror and little brother Mighty Conqueror can play starring roles at Winton on Saturday.
Impressive three-year-old American Ideal debut winner Mighty Conqueror is a leading chance in the $12,000 Nuggets Final at Central Southland Raceway’s Southern Belle Speed Series race day.
His year-older Mach Three half-brother, Young Conqueror, lines up in the $14,999 Winton Businesses Cup later on Saturday afternoon.
Mighty Conqueror furthered his dam Ballroom Babe’s impressive broodmare record with a gritty debut win for Invercargill trainer Mark Shirley at Ascot Park last Saturday.
The Presidential Ball mare is proving to be a broodmare gem, having left five winners of 19 winners from only six horses to hit the track.
Shirley and good friend Malcolm Dewe, of Canterbury, purchased the mare when she was in foal and carrying Young Conqueror.
‘’Malcolm raised Young Conqueror and I developed him and we sold him to Robert Symon and Mighty Conqueror is the next foal,’’ Shirley said.
Ballroom Babe’s tally of wins could hit 20 wins at Winton on Saturday if Mighty Conqueror can again show his impressive staying prowess against his Nuggets Final rivals.
Shirley has been associated with some good horses in his time, mainly through his late father Gil’s stable, and he puts Mighty Conqueror at the top of the list.
‘’He is the best horse I have had anything to do with.’’
That opinion is partly why Shirley thinks that his horse can take the big step up from maiden grade to racing more hardened horses on Saturday.
‘’You still need to have luck in the running, but all going well I believe he can make the step up.’’
Though he has had only had one race-day start, Young Conqueror has plenty of trial and workout experience on his side.
The 3yr-old was kicked by his stablemate Cullen’s Avenue at Christmas time and had to be put aside.
Though the injury was a setback, his break has helped to develop the horse, Shirley said.
The consistent Brett Gray-trained Young Conqueror looks to be the leading Southland hope to head off a wave of Canterbury raiders in Saturday’s Winton Businesses Cup.
The pacer will clash with Nigel McGrath’s New Zealand Derby runners Star Commander and Aloka and Star Commander and his four-year-old My Wee Man.
Southland’s leading pacer Somejoy looks to have Saturday’s $20,000 Southern Belle Mares’ Speed Series Final at her mercy.
The Clark Barron trained pacer warmed up for the one-mile feature with a crushing win in the last heat of the series at Winton last month.
The win from in 1.53.2 the outside of the front line came after driver Blair Orange snagged the four-year-old back at the start meaning the same draw on Saturday should hold no fears for her.