Lord Kanaloa colt impresses at The Valley

Arrowfield graduate 2YO colt Tagaloa, named for the supreme ruler of the Universe in Samoan mythology, scores handsomely at The Valley. (PHOTO: Darryl Sherer)

Buying a Lord Kanaloa colt for $300,000 at Magic Millions last January may have seemed left-field, but after Tagaloa’s smart victory at The Valley on Saturday, Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young’s judgement now looks spot-on.

The stable’s good opinion of the Arrowfield-sold 2YO was evident when he made his debut in the Maribyrnong Plate G3 at Flemington on Oaks Day and, although the occasion got the better of him, there was much to like about his third to Hard Landing and Baaqyah, especially his 33.39 last 600 metres.

Three weeks later, the benefit of that experience showed in Tagaloa’s pre-race parade and his professional defeat of Baaqyah & Yulong Island over 1000 metres. He is the first Melbourne 2YO winner for the Busuttin-Young team.

Trent Busuttin explained the rationale for Tagaloa’s purchase. “You’d have to say the Japanese are the dominant horses of the world and he was a lovely type. I had a crack at a couple of Deep Impacts the previous year in Sydney but I couldn’t get near them.

“He certainly wasn’t cheap at $300,000 but I thought it was cheap enough to take a risk and at the moment, I think he’s a nice horse.”

Natalie Young told Jo McKinnon on Sunday morning’s RSN Talking Horses, “We absolutely loved him straight off the bat and I think the only note I had on him in the catalogue was ‘Mine!'”.

The stable has since announced that Tagaloa will now spell for 10 days then return for a late summer campaign beginning with the MRC Blue Diamond Prelude G3 on 8 February.

Japanese-conceived, Australian-born Tagaloa (Lord Kanaloa-Vasilissa) as a 2019 Magic Millions yearling. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

Tagaloa and Stonestreet’s Group 3-placed filly Stellar Pauline (Not A Single Doubt-Negotiate) give early signs that the Class of 2019 will soon be adding to Arrowfield’s record of 54 major sale graduate stakeswinners since 2013.

Tagaloa is the first foal of the winning Heart’s Cry mare Vasilissa, a Northern Farm-bred daughter of the Guineas-placed English Group 3 winner Penkenna Princess. Vasilissa foaled a Not A Single Doubt filly the day before Tagaloa’s Group-placed debut and was served by The Autumn Sun the day before his maiden win.

Japan’s 2013 Horse of the Year and two-time Hong Kong Sprint G1 winner Lord Kanaloa is the sire of 2018 Horse of the Year Almond Eye and his 2020 fee of around $250,000 reflects his elite status among several Japanese sires now jostling to succeed Deep Impact & King Kamehameha.

Heart’s Cry’s profile in Australia has been boosted this year by his Cox Plate-winning daughter Lys Gracieux, but he’s no one-hit wonder. The son of Sunday Silence has been a top 5 sire in Japan since 2013 and is also the sire of 2014 World Champion Just A Way, 2014 Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti, 2019 Japan Cup winner Suave Richard and US Grade 1 winner Yoshida.

A year ago, Arrowfield’s Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer described Tagaloa as “a very well-made, handsome, correct colt”. The Stud will back up with two equally appealing Lord Kanaloa colts at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale: Lot 242 ex Guineas-placed Irish stakeswinner Dimenticata (by Danetime) and Lot 357 ex Guinevere (by Special Week), from the family of multiple Japanese Group winner Solveig.

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