Monks Hood, the brilliant winner of the Grade 2 Betting World Gauteng Guineas ten days ago and winner too of the Grade 2 Investec Dingaans, is in the process of being sold to a Hong Kong owner.
Trainer Alistair Gordon said, “It is a hard one to lose a horse of this caliber, but every horse has its price.”A lot of the necessary veterinary tests and red tape procedures have already been finalised for the Wilgerbosdrift Stud-owned Querari gelding, but the sale has not yet been finalised by the pending new owner.
Monks Hood will be suited to Hong Kong’s tight tracks. He has good gatespeed, is easy to switch on and off and has an exceptional turn of foot.
Hong Kong is one of the few countries in the world where average stakes returns per horse is more than the average cost of ownership, so Monks Hood will have a good chance of recouping his cost price.
The process for the next overseas shipment from the Kenilworth quarantine station is expected to start in June, depending on the numbers.
If it does go ahead, Monks Hood can only expect to reach Hong Kong by the end of November after the arduous journey via Mauritius and Europe.
One of his obvious targets, the HK$20 million Hong Kong Mile, the world’s richest mile race, is usually run in the second weekend of December, which won’t leave him with much time.
However, J J The Jet Plane arrived at Sha Tin racecourse just days before the big international meeting after travelling the same route in 2010 and still managed to win the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint.
Monks Hood is bred by Benmarne Stud and sold for R375 000 off the 2016 National Yearling Sale. Benmarne are offering a full brother at the upcoming BSA National Yearling Sale.
-David Thiselton / Gold Circle