Connections of Winning Rupert are considering an offer from a major Australian stud to secure the brilliant colt for a future stud career.
Winning Rupert won his first five starts in dynamic fashion before suffering his first defeat when fourth as the odds on favourite to $101 outsider Flying Jess in the $2m Gold Coast Magic Millions 3yo Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 14.
The Written Tycoon colt was subsequently found to have chipped a bone in his knee and has undergone surgery to fix the problem and would have been unable to race until the 2017 Spring Carnival.
Trainer Bjorn Baker considers Winning Rupert to be the best horse he has trained and was looking forward to preparing him for the major Spring Carnival sprints.
“From a training point of view, if he is retired it would be gutting as he is the fastest horse I’ve ever put a saddle on and I truly believe he could have gone to the next level in the spring,” Baker told Racing.com.
“But we’ll just see what comes with it.”
If connections decide to go ahead with the sale, Winning Rupert would be retired from racing immediately and be prepared for the breeding season this Spring.
Winning Rupert kicked off his winning streak during the 2016 Queensland Winter Carnival and after scoring on debut in a 1000m Sunshine Coast 2yo Plate on April 23 went on to win the Group 2 $175,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben on May 14.
The flashy chestnut colt then wasn’t headed at three runs from a spell and resumed with a five and three quarter lengths win in a 1200m 3yo Plate at Eagle Farm on December 3 before repeating the effort for an easy win in the Listed $100,000 Delfina’s Bistro Gold Edition Plate (1200m) at Doomben on December 17.
Winning Rupert then went on to win the Group 3 $200,000 Vo Rogue Plate (1300m) at Eagle Farm on December 31 in easy fashion, picking up a $500,000 bonus in the process, before suffering his first defeat in the Magic Millions 3yo Guineas.