Astute Goulburn trainer Danny Williams has enjoyed a great strike-rate with New Zealand horses purchased by former Australian rugby union winger, Alan Cardy.
The latest to cross the Tasman and continue in a winning vein is five-year-old gelding Taken, who lines up at Goulburn Tuesday.
Taken, a last-start winner on the Sunshine Coast, continues his development under Williams in the Glenvale Park Racehorse Management Benchmark 60 Handicap (1600m).
Taken arrived in Australia as a maiden after three starts in New Zealand and was sent straight to Williams’s winter base at Caloundra.
Produced first-up over 1300m at Eagle Farm on August 3, the gelding made late ground to finish third to Waranga and Perrault.
“He got back and didn’t have the turn of foot to make up enough ground,” Williams said of the Eagle Farm run.
“Larry Cassidy suggested he was looking for 1600 metres.”
According to Williams, Taken arrived above himself in condition and has needed a couple of runs to trim right up into peak racing condition.
Following Eagle Farm, Taken looked impressive bullocking his way clear in the straight to record a three-quarter length 1400m maiden win at the Sunshine Coast on August 20.
“The win was very good, albeit in maiden company, Williams said.
“The horse was very gross when he arrived. He’s slowly getting fit.
“He’s a horse looking for 1600 maybe, 2000 metres. Stepping up to 1600 metres tomorrow should be interesting.”
By Keeper out of Spectaculac, Taken has returned to Goulburn in good order.
“The trip home tightened him up,” Williams said. He’s done well.
“The idea is to continue his development. It’s a race-to-race situation.
“I’m not sure what his future holds but he’s heading in the right direction.
“He’s well handicapped tomorrow, over a course and distance that should suit him.”
Taken, who drew barrier three and will carry 56kg, will be ridden by Brenton Avdulla.