SA Derby winner Jungle Magnate to join Cruz stable in Hong Kong

Jungle Magnate sold to Hong Kong
Can Jungle Magnate be the latest horse to successfully transition from Australian to Hong Kong racing?

South Australian Derby winner Jungle Magnate will be aimed towards the coveted Hong Kong Derby next season with prominent bloodstock agent George Moore confirming the purchase of the gelding on behalf of Patrick Kwok, who also raced champion horse Beauty Generation.

The three-year-old son of Tarzino is set to join the respected stable of Tony Cruz in Hong Kong racing.

“I had dinner with Tony last night, he’s quite excited to train the horse,” Moore said.

“Patrick Kwok bought it, they (the Kwok family) have got a good association with Tony, Tony’s training Beauty Joy (ex-WA galloper Talladega) for them right now with quite a lot of success, he won last week.

“I think he’s the right type of trainer to get the most out of a horse. Ben Mason did all our vetting over in Australia and gave him a pass with flying colours and said this horse would be ideal for Tony to train.”

Racing in Hong Kong is highly lucrative and many owners outsource their purchases to bloodstock Agents like Moore. Australia has arguably the best staying racing in the world and several Hong Kong Derby winners, including Werther, cut their teeth in Australia, before successfully transitioning overseas.

“I’ve been looking for different Derby-type horses for a couple of clients, we’ve got about four big clients all looking for Derby horses,” he said.

“Supply-wise, it’s been pretty slim pickings for what’s available with the prizemoney increases.

“As you know, in Victoria, we had an increase in prizemoney today, New Zealand prizemoney is going up now, so there’s quite a lot of competition, especially from Hong Kong for these types of horses.

“I’m always on the lookout for these types of horses and a South Australian Derby winner, we know he’s going to stay the distance in Hong Kong, so he seemed like the ideal candidate for what’s available.”

Moore said that Jungle Magnate also met the physical criteria for a horse destined to race at Sha Tin and Happy Valley.

“He’s got the staying frameset but he’s also got that good size for Hong Kong and good bone,” he said.

The son of renowned trainer John, Moore has already enjoyed success sourcing tried horses for Hong Kong from Australia. Two of those being Rapper Dragon and Beauty Generation who were both Group 1 placed in Sydney before being purchased by Moore and going on to become stars of the turf in Asia.

But Moore says the constant rise in prizemoney levels in Australia, coupled with the syndication model of ownership, have made it harder to buy horses with those credentials.

“That type of horse is very, very difficult because all the owners need to think about is the amount of prizemoney they can make by racing the horses on,” he said.

“We’ve got a relatively capped level in Hong Kong on how much we can spend.

“From my point of view, I’m trying to recommend my clients, and I think a lot of them are seeing the light, that we have to be buying yearlings, really, to get these top-quality horses to Hong Kong because the prizemoney’s going up, and obviously syndication’s got a lot bigger in terms of numbers.

“Even if the group want to sell the horse, it’s not an easy process to convince 50 owners to sell a horse.”

The next Hong Kong Derby will be raced on March 23, 2023.

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