The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
A mid-field finish behind Lucia Valentina in the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) has become the official last race of Murray Baker’s 2015 Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan.
The four-year-old Holy Roman Emperor stallion from Cambridge in New Zealand has retired to serve at stud after failing to rediscover the form that saw the Baker & Andrew Forsman-trained champion take out the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in Melbourne last October.
A winner of eight of his 17 career starts, Mongolian Khan bows out of racing having amassed just shy of $4 million in total prize money for connections.
His maiden elite level win came at home in February of 2015 when beating home Volkstok’n’barrell in the Group 1 NZ Derby (2400m).
After his Australian debut when fifth to the same horse who turned the tables in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m), Mongolian Khan became a dual Group 1 winner over the mile and a half with his success in last year’s Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) in Sydney.
His next best run down under was a third to superstar Criterion, who also had his last career start over the weekend in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Mongolian Khan went on to defeat French raider Trip To Paris in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), which turned out to be his last turf triumph.
He missed a shot at the world’s richest handicap when a bout of colic ruled him out of a run in last year’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Four more unplaced Group 1 runs in Sydney would follow this autumn, all affected by the previous year’s illness, including the Queen Elizabeth eighth on the weekend that prompted Baker to pull the pin on the horse’s career on the track.
“He’s just not quite putting in,” Baker said according to Racenet.
“I think he’s got very one-paced this time in.
“He’s thinking about the mares.”
Mongolian Khan’s owner Lang Lin is currently looking for suitable properties in New Zealand for the Tasmanian-bred stayer triple Group 1 winner to stand at stud.
Criterion also heads to the breeding bard having his last run for David Hayes & Tom Dabernig when a luckless 11th in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, a race he won the previous autumn.
The great Sebring stallion’s record of seven wins and 14 other minor placings from 36 starts amassed an incredible $7,268,869 in prize money for owner Sir Owen Glenn.
He won a total of four Group 1 races and also ran second and third respectively in last spring’s Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and Melbourne Cup over the two miles.
Criterion was also internationally performed running third in the 2014 Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin and third over the same track and distance in last April’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup.
His other performance overseas at Royal Ascot in June of 2015 produced a Group 1 fifth in the Prince Of Wales Stakes, after which he went to York for a second last (sixth) in the Juddmonte International.
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