Stoked up octane wins three
He set the record for the most expensive yearling sold in Victoria when a group of owners parted with $1.4 million to purchase the son of I Am Invincible out of Group 1 producing mare, Soorena.
A half-brother to the Robbie Griffiths trained Group 1 Newmarket Handicap winner The Quarterback and Group 2 winner Philippi (which raced as Vanilla in Hong Kong), the colt was offered for sale in the Gilgai Farm draft at the 2017 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale and purchased by Ciaron Maher Bloodstock.
After six starts and a maiden victory at Wangaratta, the then three year-old gelding named Octane was on the market and purchased by one of the original owners – Ken McDonald – for a modest sum, believed to be in the $40,000 range.
He was transferred to Phillip Stokes who has stables at Pakenham and Morphettville.
The four year-old gelding, which Stokes admits hasn’t the best racing habits, has had three starts for his new trainer for three wins – one at Murray Bridge and two at Morphettville where his latest victory was in the Riziz Series final earlier this month which offered a $64,000 first prize.
Stokes said Octane was going super.
“One of the owners bought everyone else out and sent him to us and we gave him a few gallops and Luke Nolen rode him and said he was going all right,’’ Stokes said.
“We ended up giving him two trials, including one at Cranbourne where he went good. We were thinking he has probably done all this in the past and come race day he’ll let us all down. We then gave him a trial on the synthetic.”
After searching for a suitable race, Stokes sent Octane to his Adelaide stables where he thought Kayla Crowther would suit the horse who doesn’t like to be stood over and believed someone like his apprentice would be he best rider because of her good hands.
“Obviously he has got that high head carriage and he has shadow rolls on him and etc, etc,” Stokes said.
“I thought we’d just take everything off him and go with him and do what he wants to do and here were are, we have won three in a row.’’
Stokes said McDonald who also has a share in another stable horse, Group 1 Queensland Derby winner Mr Quickie, so he guessed he was the logical new trainer for Octane.
He said Octane, which Crowther has ridden in the three South Australian wins, would probably have another run in Adelaide in a couple of weeks and then have a little freshen up before perhaps returning to Victoria for another race.
“I have got a feeling that he has got a good win in him somewhere,’’ he said.
“I am really happy with what the horse is doing and he has paid back what it cost to buy out the other owners.’’
There’s a lot of interest in just how far Octane can go.
Hawkes Racing also paid $1.4 million for Octane’s full brother at last year’s Inglis Australian Easter yearling sales. He was also offered though the Gilgai Farm draft. Now racing as Born A Warrior, the colt has had two starts for a third in this year’s Silver Slipper and a second in the Pago Pago Stakes.