Queensland Derby runner-up Werther will be set for the 2016 Hong Kong Derby and bypass races like the Melbourne Cup after being purchased by Hong Kong-based connections.
Werther was expected to be set for races like the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival, but he has been transferred to the care of Gary Moore and will be set for the Group 1 Hong Kong Derby (2000m) in March next year.
The Moore family has previously won the Hong Kong Derby with Viva Pataca (2006), Collection (2009) and Designs On Rome (2014) and Moore was quick to compare Werther to this year’s placegetter Romantic Touch, who was purchased by Moore after starting his racing career under the care of Gai Waterhouse.
“Werther is a wonderful acquisition to the stable and he looks a perfect candidate for the 2016 Hong Kong Derby,” Moore said.
“I bought Romantic Touch and he ran third in the Derby this year and to me Werther has a lot better form.
“He’s won at weight-for-age and has been second in two Derbys.
“He was unlucky in Brisbane and in Adelaide he ran into one of the best fillies I’ve seen for a long time in Delicacy.”
Werther made her racing career under the care of Andrew Campbell in January of last year and he had five race starts before he finally scored his maiden race win at Awapuni in February this year.
The Lord Tavistock gelding finished second behind Exquisite Jewel in the Group 3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) at Awapuni on March 28 and he earnt a trip to Australia when he claimed the Group 2 Championship Stakes (2100m) at Ellerslie on April 18.
Werther was only denied a maiden win at Group 1 level by Delicacy in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 9 before he returned to winning form in the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) at Doomben on May 30.
He went into the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m) at Doomben on June 6 as a clear favourite and he looked like the winner at the 200 metre mark, but Magicool finished over the top of him in the final stages of the race.
Werther has scored four wins from her 13 race starts and has accumulated over $400,000 in prizemoney for connections.