Leading Perth-based trainer Adam Durrant has been pleased with the progression made by Kia Ora Koutou this time, and is confident his stable star is primed for success in Saturday’s 2016 WATC Derby (2400m) at Ascot Racecourse.
Resuming this time for a credible fifth in the Listed Lex Piper Stakes (1600m) on March 5th, Kia Ora Koutou progressed to third in the Listed JC Roberts Stakes (1800m) before savaging the line for second in the Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m) on April 2nd.
Durrant told Racing Ahead he has no doubt the Blackfriars gelding will relish the distance and conditions of the 2016 WATC Derby and believes his runner will be very hard to beat.
“He’s hopefully better, that would be nice but everything has fallen into place,” Durrant said.
“His runs have been really progressive he whole way through and it’s grad final day tomorrow, so hopefully we’ve got it right.
“I’m very confident the horse is in good order. I think he’s the same horse we produced in Melbourne and from that run, he’s right in it.
“Barrier 1 is a little bit of a query I guess for a horse that wants to wind up a little bit like him but up to 2400m if there’s a bit of pace on, it shouldn’t present too much of a problem.
“It’s a race so luck plays a part, it’s always tricky at times but you look at his run in the Derby and you could make a case that he was unlucky not to finish closer.
“I’ve always liked this horse and thought he was going to make the grade at the top level, so this is his grand final and you’d like to think on face value that if he doesn’t have any bad luck in the run and all things were equal, you’d like to think he could come away from these other horses and dominate.”
Kia Ora Koutou immediately stamped himself as a colt to follow upon debuting to racing during the recent spring, and capped his season with a particularly impressive performance for third behind Tarzino and Etymology in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) on October 31st.
Regular hoop Joe Azzopardi has been confirmed to take the ride on Kia Ora Koutou in the 2016 WATC Derby from the rails draw.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2016 WATC Derby odds, for which Kia Ora Koutou remains a clear $2.10 favourite for success.