Caulfield Cup-winning jockey Pat Cosgrave will make a flying visit to Auckland this weekend to partner the Chris Waller-trained Nobu (Reliable Man x Royal Prize) in the Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m).
The 36-year-old Northern Irishman shot to prominence in this part of the world after partnering Benbatl to win the Gr.1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) last October before adding the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on Best Solution a week later.
Cosgrave, who is currently based in Dubai, won’t arrive in Auckland until Saturday morning but is looking forward to the challenge and linking up with the Waller stable once again.
“I rode Comin’ Through for Chris Waller in Dubai a couple of times earlier in the year and I know his Racing Manager Charlie Duckworth well, so the ride has come through that,” Cosgrave said.
“Chris asked if I would be interested in going down and riding Nobu and I had never been there (New Zealand) before. Chris is a world-class trainer, so I have taken the opportunity to go down and see how it goes.
“If Chris is sending it there he must think it has a live chance in the big race.”
Cosgrave said he had already watched some videos of past New Zealand Derbys to get an idea of what awaits and he would be doing more homework before making the journey.
“Between now and Saturday I’ll be going through all his races and looking through some of the opposition as well and hopefully see how the race is going to pan out,” Cosgrave said.
“I want to learn as much as possible, there is not much point in going all the way down to ride this horse and not have my homework done.
“I’ll be there early and I’ll walk the track a couple of times and Charlie has helped me pick up another ride beforehand.”
Cosgrave was impressed with Nobu’s last-start fourth in Rating 65 company at Ellerslie over 2100m, closing late after going back to last.
“Charlie said his closing sectionals were very good and that he should improve with the step up in distance, so he looks a nice ride,” he said.
Nobu, who was bred by The Whitby Bloodstock Trust, was purchased by Bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster for $250,000 out of Trelawney Stud's 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock draft. -NZ Racing Desk