Leading group one Queensland Derby (2200m) contender Live And Free is another example of John O'Shea's eye for an opportunity with a New Zealand-bred son of Savabeel.
The Randwick trainer is a long-time fan of the Waikato Stud stallion and moved quickly to secure his rising star for clients of his Sydney stable.
"I got in contact with Bruce Perry, who managed the horse, to see if we could buy him," O'Shea said.
A deal to buy the gelding, then known as Patrician, was struck after he had run second on debut at New Plymouth last November for Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.
Live And Free was originally bought by Perry at Karaka in 2016 for $200,000 from the draft of Windsor Park Stud and was firstly raced by a syndicate that included Lib Petagna, Waikato Stud, Jamieson Park and Jomara Bloodstock.
"The fork in the road came at Rosehill a couple of weeks ago when he won in his first chance over a bit of trip and his second run over ground showed he's a nice horse going forward to the Derby," O'Shea said yesterday.
Live And Free won over 1800m before he came from the back of the field at Randwick last Saturday for a smart win in three-year-old company over 2000m. He was ridden by Brenton Avdulla.
But he will be partnered in the Derby by James McDonald, with whom O'Shea had a successful association during their Godolphin days.
"He's an impressive horse and Savabeel has been very good to me," O'Shea said.
Among his success stories with the former group one Cox Plate (2040m) winner's progeny has been Savvy Nature, a group two and three winner and a multiple group one placegetter.
At the head of the Derby market with Live And Free is fellow Kiwi-bred Lucky For All, who was beaten for the first time in four Australian outings when a luckless seventh at Sandown last Saturday.
The son of Tavistock was purchased by clients of Darren Weir's stable after finishing fourth as Lucky For Some at Thames earlier this year in his only appearance for Cambridge trainer Roger Lang.
- NZ Racing Desk