Kent Excited About Kiwi Acquisitions
Media Release - Friday April 10

Victorian trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr are excited about the prospects of two recent New Zealand acquisitions, but it is unknown when the pair will be able to join their Australian barn.

Mick Kent Jr - Racing Photos Natasha MorelloWith the Covid-19 alert level 4 restrictions in place in New Zealand for at least the next fortnight, there are no flights available to transport the two-year-olds across the Tasman, so the pair could potentially begin their spring preparations in New Zealand.

“We purchased a Reliable Man filly who was a trial winner and the form looks very good from that trial,” Kent said.

“Greg Tomlinson (owner) is maintaining a share in her and we put one of our big clients, Bill Frost, into her.”

While excited about the Reliable Man filly, Kent is particularly looking forward to the future with Mongolian Condor, who he rode in work alongside Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) winner Quick Thinker earlier this year.

“We also bought a horse off Murray Baker called Mongolian Condor,” he said. “I galloped him at Cambridge back in January and actually worked alongside Quick Thinker.

“At the time he (Quick Thinker) was only a Group Three winner, but it was very nice work and I thought the horse that I was on (Mongolian Condor) went particularly well. We purchased him and the form has since worked out quite nicely.

“He is a potential Derby horse for us over here in the spring.”

The pair will stay near Cambridge for the immediate future, but Kent is hoping to get them on a plane within the next few months.

“They are with Jamie Beatson (of Ohukia Lodge),” Kent said. “Given it is a private training set-up he can still do a little bit with them.

“Hopefully we will know a bit more in four weeks’ time if we can transport them over to Australia.”

While racing has ceased in New Zealand as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, along with Tasmania, Kent is pleased that racing has been able to continue in Victoria.

“The industry has done a fantastic job to keep it going, so we are very thankful for that,” he said.

“We have got a Premier and a Racing Minister who are really behind us and I don’t think they want 25,000 industry participants without a job, so we are doing everything to keep it going.

“When you watch racing on TV it looks very professional and I think are doing a great job presenting a professional product. But when you are there on raceday it looks totally different.

“Only the people who are necessary are on course and the stewards are very vigilant. If anyone is standing too close they are very quick to separate them. All the measures are being done correctly and we just hope it continues.”

While Kent admitted that he thought it was inevitable that racing would come to a halt in his home state a few weeks ago, he said there is now an air of cautious optimism.

“I think we have had a very good week in Victoria,” he said. “The infection rate has dropped and it has definitely created a sense of optimism.

“A few weeks ago we were thinking we would definitely be off at some point, but we sure have got through that rough part and you sense there is a bit of optimism that we may be able to keep this going.

“The racing industry as a whole is the third or fourth largest in Australia, so there are a lot of jobs at stake.

“Also for our owners that are having to continue to invest, it is important for them that they can get some sort of return.

“It’s really going well given the circumstances.” – NZ Racing Desk