Cognito the Conqueror

Date: 29 Oct 2023

Cognito the Conqueror


Wellington Guineas winner Cognito (4 g So You Think – Lady Primrose, by More Than Ready) justified favouritism with a last to first victory in the $55,000 Haunui Farm Rating 75 1400 metres on Saturday at Pukekohe.


In top form at the same time last season, when winning the Inglewood Stud Guineas Trial (1400m) and finishing second in the War Decree Stakes (Gr. 3, 1600m), Cognito recorded his season highlight in the Wellington Guineas (Gr. 2, 1400m) in January at Trentham, and scored third-up in this campaign after running the fastest last 600m (34.3) for second to Group One winning stable-mate Romancing The Moon (El Roca) when resuming in the Rating 75 1100 metres in September at Taupo.

Ridden by Te Akau apprentice Niranjan Parmar (a1), who leads his peers in the premiership, Cognito was allowed to steady through the early stages after drawing 12 of 13, and while he stood the leaders 10 lengths passing the 600m, he scythed through midfield in the straight to score stylishly.

On footing upgraded to Good4, Cognito ran 1400 metres in a slick 1:22.6, last 600m in 33.4, and held solid in betting to pay $4.00 & $1.70 on the NZ TAB tote. 

“We came into the race knowing there were plenty of horses that would go hard from the barriers and it panned out that way,” said racing manager Reece Trumper.

“I told Parmar to be in the second half of the field and he rode a perfect race. I said to him not to come wide, but try for a run through the middle and the luck came.

“He struck a good track when he won the Wellington Guineas, and it was a similar race because he got the gaps then, and I think the better track conditions help him. 

“The team at the colt barn: Rylee Sheehan, Stephanie Hyde-Richards, Kohen Collett, and Dan Picton, have done a sensational job with him.

“We’ll keep his races spaced. He’s a horse that likes getting to the water walker, doing some dressage, and different things, so it’s good to see him going the right way.”

Promising from the outset, when storming home to win with ears pricked on debut at Taupo, Cognito has now won four times and finished second on three occasions from 11 starts.

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

“It was great to see him back in winning form and a lovely ride of Parmar’s,” said co-trainer Mark Walker. “He had to be patient from the wide draw and picked a perfect path in the straight. 

“He had back complaints after he won the Wellington Guineas, but the team at the colt barn have got him right and he’s finding his best form again.

“It’s a taken a lot of time and effort, so it’s great to see him rewarding everyone.”

Built in the mould of 10 time Group One winning sire So You Think (High Chaparral), and 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 Mallesh Saddari.


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