Star New Zealand pacer Devil Dodger is set to become a Queenslander.
The former Gr.1 Australasian Breeders Crown 3yo champion has been purchased by leading owner Greg Mitchell after passing all veterinary tests yesterday (Wednesday).
Grant Dixon, Australia’s leading trainer will prepare the richly talented gelding.
The deal was organised through Knight Exports, headed up by North Island based agent Garrick Knight.
Trained in partnership by Brian Hughes and John Green, Devil Dodger enjoyed great success in his 3yo term which netted the Breeders Crown victory in Australia plus placings in the Jewels Final at Cambridge behind Sir Lincoln and the Great Northern Derby at Alexandra Park, Auckland behind Russley Rascal and Five Star Anvil.
The arrival of Devil Dodger in Queensland will prove a timely boost to the open class ranks following the departure of Team McCarthy to Sydney last month.
Devil Dodger arrives in Australia assessed as a C9 M4.
It also provides an ideal opportunity for comeback pacer Lanercost to renew his battle with the Mach Three gelding after his success in Breeders Crown two years ago.
“He will certainly be a welcome addition to the stable, his record speaks for itself. It’s quite exciting to train a proven performer like this.” Grant Dixon said.
It seems likely that Devil Dodger will accompany freak pacer Majestic Mach to Melbourne early next year when he chases Victoria Derby glory.
A range of feature race targets are available for Devil Dodger including the Gr.1 $400,000 Del-Re National Food Group A.G Hunter Cup at TABCORP Park, Melton on February 2.
“That’s the ultimate aim but we have a long way to go before reaching that goal currently, I will go over him thoroughly upon his arrival next week and then start fresh with him soon afterwards.
There are plenty of options with the Country Cup circuit in Victoria so we’ll have a few back-up plans.
Greg is excited and I’m excited for him, this horse is quality and still has plenty of life left in him.”
Mitchell was recently crowned the Owner of the Year at the Racing Queensland Annual Awards night in September.
Devil Dodger will fly out of Auckland next Tuesday.
DEVIL DODGER FACT FILE;
PRIZEMONEY - $392, 285.
By Chris Barsby