Hokkaido impressive on debut

Hokkaido

The aptly named Hokkaido credited Satono Aladdin with his second Southern Hemisphere winner from limited representatives when he made an impressive debut at Otaki, New Zealand, on Thursday.

Trained by co-breeder and part-owner Gary Vile, the two-year-old sat in the trail before rider Masa Hashizume angled off heels in the straight and, whilst avoiding a riderless horse, the gelding found the line strongly for the perfect start to his career.

“He is a nice horse that has always shown plenty. He is a very professional horse and it was a brave effort today and I think he has beaten some nice horses,” Vile said.

“I probably will press on with him. He has got such a great attitude and all he does is eat, sleep and have a play. If he does alright I will press on towards the Castletown Stakes (Listed, 1200m).”

Bred in partnership with well-known veterinarian Dr John O’Brien, Hokkaido is out of the five-win mare Justlikeyasister and Vile said it was an easy decision to breed to Japanese shuttle stallion Satono Aladdin.

“John and I both agreed that he was such a great racehorse, even though it was later in life when he hit his straps, and he was a big horse that suited the mare,” he said.

“She won five races and was a real handy mare that liked to get her toe into the track and it is a good family. John and I decided that we would breed from her and she has had two to the races and both are winners, with Perfectsister (by Per Incanto) a winner at Otaki a few months back and Hokkaido now.

“The mare is back in foal to Satono Aladdin and I did try and buy a couple this year, but they were a bit dear for me. Let’s hope the mare has another colt.”

Auckland-based apprentice Masa Hashizume made the trek to Otaki to deliver a perfect ride, adding further Japanese flavour to the story.

“He has been coming down here (Central Districts) a bit and I have been watching him and he is a really talented rider,” Vile said.

“At the moment with this extra kilo going on the horses (due to a spike in COVID positives to assist jockeys returning from illness), a two kilo claimer is very handy, especially one that is very talented.”

Satono Aladdin has completed three tours of duty to Rich Hill Stud from his Northern Hemisphere base at the Shadai Stallion Station on the island of Hokkaido.

“He stood his first two seasons here and then we couldn’t get him back due to freight issues because of COVID-19 before his return in 2021,” Rich Hill Stud’s John Thompson said.

“We have enjoyed a long and successful association with Shadai. They originally bought Pentire from England and we shuttled him so we have been dealing with them for a long time.

“When Pentire died, Shadai asked if we were interested in doing further business. I half-jokingly said only if you’ve got a son of Deep Impact and they e-mailed soon after about Satono Aladdin.”

A Group One-winning son of the legendary stallion, Satono Aladdin has been well-received by Australasian breeders and buyers with his yearlings selling for up to NZD$360,000.

Satono Aladdin’s first winner was the Jamie Richards-trained Kabugee, who bolted in at Te Aroha in his only appearance, while the Bruce Wallace and Grant Cooksley-prepared Sacred Satono has placed at Listed level.

From six New Zealand representatives, Pennyweka also placed in his only start for trainer Jim Wallace.

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