From New Zealand to Hong Kong to Australia.
That is the path worn by seven-year-old gelding Ho Ho Khan, who renewed an old rivalry when downing another Hong Kong returnee in Dark Dream when landing the Rogers Handicap (2000m) at Caulfield.
Now in the care of Ballarat trainer Mitch Freedman, the veteran son of Makfi showed there was plenty of life left in his legs when prevailing at his third start for his new conditioner.
Dark Dream had beaten home Ho Ho Khan at five of their previous nine encounters in Hong Kong but Ho Ho Khan levelled the score on Saturday when he powered home from the rear of the field.
The pair’s rivalry goes back to 2019 when they vied for a number of feature Hong Kong races with Dark Dream (fourth) and Ho Ho Khan (fifth) finishing together in that year’s Hong Kong Derby (2000m).
Ho Ho Khan (+1200) finished so hard his winning margin was out to a length and three quarters on the line from Dark Dream (+360) with Holbien (+450) showing his usual fight at his 2000-metre debut to hang on for a brave third.
A Group Three winner in Hong Kong for David Hall, Ho Ho Khan originally raced in New Zealand as Mulanchi where he was a winner for Tony Pike prior to his sale offshore.
Winning rider Jordan Childs said he felt there was plenty left in the tank and that Freedman was impressing him with how he is training the horse.
“Mitch is doing a good job with him and he feels like a nice horse,” Childs said.
“Mitch told me he was going well and to try and be a bit closer today.
“We copped a bit of a squeeze at the start but it ended up working out nicely, we ended up getting a nice cart into the race, had that resting run and once he presented he was really attacking the line.
“I think he’ll get over further.”
Bred by Westbury Stud, the farm will offer a Tarzino half-sister to Ho Ho Khan as Lot 166 in Book 1 of the rescheduled New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale, which will take place from March 7.