Warrnambool trainer Aaron Purcell has an enviable strike rate with European imports — most recently winning with Guizot at Caulfield last Saturday — and is looking to add two more to his arsenal in coming months.
Purcell has instructed respected English bloodstock agent Anthony Bromley to hunt across Europe for a jumper and a flat horse suitable for racing in Australia.
Purcell has won races with 12 imports.
“I gave Anthony a call last Thursday about purchasing another two horses from Europe,” he said this week.
“Anthony knows what type of horses that suit our racing and what we’re looking for.
Our record with imported horses speaks for itself — 12 of the 14 have won for us.
“We’ve had a great run and a lot of our success is due to Anthony’s hard work.
“He’s got a great eye for a horse. We put a lot of time and effort into it.”
Purcell is expecting his next two imports horse will cost in the vicinity of $200,000 each to bring to Warrnambool.
“The costs add up,” he said.
“After purchase price, insurance, commissions and quarantine costs I don’t think there’ll be much change out of $200,000.”
He said several existing owners had indicated they’d take shares in the two new horses.
Purcell’s imported winners include Val Mondo, Swacadelic, Initiator and St Jean.
Last Saturday’s win was Guizot’s sixth in Australia. He has earned nearly $400,000 since arriving.
Wilde mulls Medals move
Trainer Symon Wilde will finalise his plans for tough Warrnambool jumper Gold Medals late this week.
Gold Medals, who put in gallant efforts to finish second in the Brierly and Grand Annual steeplechases this month, will either head to the spelling paddock or target the Australian Steeplechase.
“I’ll have a clearer idea by the end of the week,” Wilde said. “We gave him a few days’ break after the Grand Annual. He’s bounced back pretty well.
“He’s got a good record in the Australian Steeplechase (first and second in the past two years).
“We’ll just weigh up our options before deciding but I’m always mindful of having a crack at the Grand Annual again next year.”
Gold Medals won the Brierly-Grand Annual double in 2018.
Meanwhile, Wilde predicts a bright future for Shamal Lass — a maiden winner last Saturday at her third start — and Vassa Blue, who won at Ballarat on Sunday.
“There’s plenty of upside to both,” he said.
“Shamal Lass put the writing on the board with an excellent run at the Warrnambool carnival.
“Vassa Blue deserved a win after running well at the carnival.
“I’m quietly confident both will run through their grades.”
Ginny Ann, an impressive debut winner at the Warrnambool carnival for Wilde, could line up in Saturdday’s $150,000 Group 3 National Stakes for two-year-olds at Morphettville on Saturday.
Tack on to Taksu
Taksu, trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, will break his maiden status shortly after an eye-catching run over 1350 metres at Donald last Saturday.
The lightly raced three-year-old finished third behind Shamal Lass after overracing early, shifting out past the 1100-metre mark and bumping another runner, and getting held up from the 400-metre until near the 200 metres.