Queensland trainer Stuart Kendrick has never shied away from selling his promising horses to Hong Kong but he believes he will get a Group One reward by knocking back a big offer for Caulfield Guineas hope Eric The Eel.
A former leading trainer at Mackay in North Queensland Kendrick has come a long way since relocating to Caloundra eight years ago.
He has won the past six Sunshine Coast trainers premierships and been a regular in the top 10 in the metropolitan and state titles.
Kendrick’s best horse to date was the filly Doubtfilly who ran fourth in the 2012 Group One Golden Slipper behind Pierro.
It would be fair to say some of his best horses have been sold out of his stable to Asia including Ted who won the Hong Kong Derby when racing as Ping Hai Star.
A big offer was made for Eric The Eel after he showed Group One potential with an unlucky fifth in The J J Atkins (1600m) in June.
Eric The Eel is long odds in the Guineas but Kendrick does not think there is much between his horse and the second favourite Alligator Blood, who is also trained at Caloundra.
“I don’t think there should be that much between them in the markets,” Kendrick said.
“Alligator Blood looks a genuine miler while my bloke looks like being a stayer. I know we are drawn off the track but Eric The Eel can get back and run home.
“Whether Caulfield is his track we will see but we paid the late entry for the Victoria Derby and I can hardly wait to get him on the big Flemington spaces.”
Kendrick said he had been tempted to run Eric The Eel in the Stan Fox Stakes at Randwick on Saturday but had opted for the Guineas.
“I had a look at the Caulfield Guineas field and it is pretty even without being any genuine superstars like many years,” Kendrick said.
Eric The Eel ended up in Kendrick’s stables by chance.
“One of my main workers, Neil Douglas, was with me at the Gold Coast June sales last year and we got talking with someone from Arrowfield Stud,” Kendrick said.
“He said they had a colt by sire Olympic Glory who was a very nice mover and wouldn’t be too costly.
“We were sitting in the sales ring and out came this gangly colt. When no-one bid Neil put his hand up and got him for just $7000.”
Eric The Eel is named for Olympic swimmer Eric Moussambani Malonga who represented Equatorial Guinea in 2000 and recorded the slowest 50m-time in the history of the Games.
“Being by Olympic Glory he was nicknamed Bolt after champion sprinter Usain Bolt early on,” Kendrick said.
“When it came time to officially name him there was nothing available around Usain Bolt so the owners went the other way.
“They tried to get Eddie The Eagle but got Eric The Eel”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au