Cognito - Group 2 Guineas' Glory

Date: 15 Jan 2023

Cognito - Group 2 Guineas' Glory


Given a brilliant steer by stable rider Opie Bosson, Cognito (3 g So You Think - Lady Primrose, by More Than Ready) was equal to the task when winning the $140,000 Life Direct Wellington Guineas (Gr. 2, 1400m) on Saturday at Trentham.


The race holds fond memories for Te Akau, having previously won with five-time Group One winner and champion stallion Darci Brahma (Danehill) in 2005, while two years ago Need I Say More (No Nay Never) recorded his seventh win from nine starts when taking out the event.

For Cognito, who continued good form with a notable sixth in the 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) during Cup Week at Riccarton, the build up was not ideal after missing a lead-up race at Taupo, but like the ride by Bosson, the training feat by Mark Walker was also special.

“When you've got Opie on, he can do miracle things and it was a great ride,” said Walker, after recording his 17thstakes victory for the season.

Not dissimilar to the ride by Dean Yendall aboard stable-mate Belle En Rouge (Burgundy) when winning the previous race (Anniversary Handicap), Bosson positioned Cognito back on the inner, 12thand seven lengths off the leaders at the 600m, but encountered more traffic near the rail before getting clear late and dashing home.

“We had a hiccup with the horse and he missed a run, so full credit to him, and all the team. It's a tough time of year, working day in and day out. Everyone has been working so hard and to get results like this is fantastic,” Walker said.

“He's probably furnished up, and we love taking horses in the spring to Riccarton. The horses grow up mentally down there and I think the trip away just made him.

“He's going to keep getting better because he's very sound and he's lightly raced, so he's got a good future.

“Dave (Ellis) bought this bloke at the Gold Coast Yearling Sales and he was there again last week, so for anyone that wants to join the team there are some shares available on the website.”

Walker said he would reserve judgement on plans for Cognito, but mentioned he does hold a nomination for the NZ Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m).

On Good4 footing, Cognito ran 1400 metres in 1:22.7, last 600m in 34.2, and paid $3.40 & $1.60 on the NZ TAB tote, after shortening from earlier fixed odds of $7.50 & $2.70.

Owned by Te Akau Think Ahead Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Cognito was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for A$165,000, from the draft of Baramul Stud, at the 2021 Gold Coast National Yearling Sale.

Built in the mould of his 10-time Group One winning sire So You Think (High Chaparral), Cognito was solid through the trials' stage, has the pedigree and type to get further, but often the case with these sorts of horses the better ones can sprint well fresh, which he obliged doing when winning on debut over 1200 metres in August at Taupo.

He has now won three of his six starts and virtually recovered his purchase price in earnings, with plenty more to come.

When buying Cognito as a yearling, Ellis said: “He's a nice athletic horse, with a lovely head and eye and plenty of presence. He's all quality, from head to toe, and buying him early in the sale we felt he was good value at the price.”

“That's just how to ride him, held up and finding the line and what a brilliant ride by Opie,” Ellis added.

“He's grown into a gorgeous horse and while he's got the brilliance to act over the shorter trip, there is also plenty of evidence within his bloodlines to get further. We'll have to wait and see, but it's pretty exciting for the owners to have a horse like him.”

From a mare by international stallion More Than Ready (Southern Halo), Cognito carries a bloodline cross of immortal sire Northern Dancer.

Dam Lady Primrose has already left Hard Lady (All Too Hard), a dual winner to 1300 metres in Australia, along with mile winner Presser (Press Statement), while grand-dam Primrose Sands, by Champion Sire and Broodmare Sire Zabeel (Sir Tristram), was a stakes' winner and Group Two placed over 2000 metres - winning nine times, including eight in succession, from 1200m to 2000m - and left three winners of eight races.

Cognito was strapped by Hunter Durrant.


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