An international Group One winner is on his way to the Auret family’s thoroughbred operation on the outskirts of Wanganui.
The well-performed Unusual Suspect has been purchased for stud duty at Letham Thoroughbreds, where he will stand at $5000 + GST alongside Montjeu’s stakes-winning son Mettre En Jeu.
“We had been keeping an eye out for another horse and one that we could send all our mares to,” Nigel Auret said.
“We weren’t going to take anything just for the sake of it. We wanted the real deal and we had all but given up when this horse came along.
“We know it’s a very late addition, but we are excited by him and better late than never. He’s head and shoulders above anything else we looked at.”
Unusual Suspect was the winner of the Gr.1 Hollywood Turf Cup and the Gr.3 Hollywood Turf Handicap in his native North America before he was sent to Australia where he continued his career with leading Victorian trainer Mick Kent.
“He said he was sorry he didn’t get the horse earlier and he probably had the nicest temperament of any colt he’s ever had,” Auret said.
Unusual Suspect won the Listed Werribee Cup for Kent, finished third in the Listed Sandown Cup and fourth in the Gr.2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes.
He was also fourth in the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup and although only ninth in the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup, he was only four lengths off the winner Dunaden.
“He won seven stakes races and placed in another 10 so he was a very, very good horse,” Auret said.
“In his first full season in Queensland he served 80 mares and 60 in his second.
“We’re lucky to get a horse of his quality and my wife Adaire, our son Hamish and I own the horse outright and he will be serving all 15 of our own mares.”
Unusual Suspect, who will arrive at Letham later this week, won 10 races from 1200 to 2600 metres.
He is a son of the Nureyev stallion Unusual Heat, the Group One-producing sire of 43 stakes winners, and the New Zealand-bred Crested Wave mare Penpont.
She is also the dam of the Group One winner Golden Doc A and a grand-daughter of the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Black Willow. – NZ Racing Desk.