Gosford hosted a mid-week metropolitan meeting on Wednesday, and the first race proved a thriller when 3-year-old Frosted (USA) colt Kooled narrowly held California Surreal (I Am Invincible) for a tight victory.

Kooled as a yearling | Image courtesy of Pam Crosby

The grey-coated, Hawkes-trained Kooled, who was having only his third start, looked at one point a comfortable winner on the rails, but in the straight, he hung then fanned right across the track for jockey James McDonald and gave away what otherwise might have been a cosy win.

Kooled jumped smartly from the inside barrier and took the initiative to lead, and he stayed there for much of the race with Hollywood North (Vancouver) and Excela Bella (Exceed And Excel).

Turning for home the colt had every chance until the last 150 metres when he ran out and allowed California Surreal to come wide alongside.

The pair argued out the last 50 metres of the race, with Kooled getting the upper hand narrowly. The final margins were 0.05l between first and second, with 1.5l back to the Ingham-owned Fangirl (Sebring) in third.

There was a collective sigh of relief when Kooled was announced the winner in the photo result, backed as he was into $1.90 favouritism. It was also a relief for McDonald, who didn’t have the easiest of rides.

“He’s a beautiful horse,” the jockey said. “He oozes a lot of quality, and once the penny drops he’s going to be a goody. Obviously, he did a lot of things wrong, but in saying that it’s a tight-turning track and that’s probably the first time he’s seen that.”

McDonald said post-race that it wasn’t ideal to be leading on the colt, but the good barrier prompted it.

“He (Kooled) oozes a lot of quality, and once the penny drops he’s going to be a goody.” – James McDonald

“They mustered speed really quickly and I was very comfortable in using him to guide through his gears early,” he said.

“He got a bit lost then and luckily we got a result. He was like a crab going left instead of going straight, and it just shows how much ability he’s got. He’s a lovely raw horse with plenty to play with.”

Bigger targets in mind

Kooled’s owner-breeder, Tamworth-based Rob Crosby, watched the race from home with similar trepidation.

“We thought he’d got there but it was close, we might have to take him to Victoria to run the other way after that.” – Rob Crosby

“We thought he’d got there but it was close,” Crosby said. “We might have to take him to Victoria to run the other way after that.”

Crosby said the horse had no reason to run across the track at Gosford as he did, but like McDonald he said it showed the colt had plenty in-hand to still produce a result.

“We watched the race from our lounge room, and we always knew this was going to be a beautiful colt,” Crosby said. “He was a beautiful foal when he was born, and we don’t usually race colts but we thought we’d try this fellow and everyone loves a grey, so if he’s any good he’ll have a good following.”

Rob and Pam Crosby

Crosby said Kooled holds a nomination for the G1 Golden Rose and G1 Caulfield Guineas, but he was reluctant to be confident about the colt’s chances of making the fields.

“I don’t think he’s going to have enough ratings to get into those races,” Crosby said. “He’ll need to win a couple more races. It was probably our fault, because after he ran in the VRC Sires’ Produce he needed a spell and we kept him home too long. All of his combatants are already racing now, so we probably shouldn’t have given him as long a spell as we did.”

Kooled was second in his debut race at Canterbury last February as a 2-year-old and was thereafter unplaced to Lightsaber (Zoustar) in the G2 VRC Sires’ Produce S. in March. After that, he was spelled and won his first trial back at Rosehill in late August. It was a promising return for his connections.

“The beauty of today’s run is that he’s never gotten out of the barrier so quickly.” – Rob Crosby

“The beauty of today’s run is that he’s never gotten out of the barrier so quickly,” Crosby said. “To lead as he did all the way at Gosford and have enough to win with that second horse peppering him all the way, that was pretty good.”

The ‘little Chautauqua’

Kooled is from the first Australian crop of Darley’s American shuttler Frosted (USA), and the seventh foal from the One Cool Cat (USA) mare Dawned (NZ). This is an old family nurtured by Sir Patrick Hogan, who bred Dawned along with her dam Our Dawn Run (NZ) (Sir Tristram {Ire}).

Frosted (USA) | Standing at Darley

Dawned is a half-sister to G2 Emancipation S. winner Beat The Fade (NZ) (Maroof {USA}) and G3 Cuddle S. winner Dawn Till Dusk (NZ) (Manntari {Ire}), while Kooled himself is a half-brother to the G2 Guy Walter S. winner Dawn Dawn (All Too Hard).

In fact, Dawn Dawn was the first foal bred by Crosby from Kooled’s dam Dawned after he purchased the mare from Patinack Farm at the 2013 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. He paid as little as $45,000, something he puts down to uncertainty at the time about her sire.

“The next one we got from her (Dawned) was Enjoy Elsie, who was by Sepoy, and she was probably the best one, but she fractured her pelvis after one race.”

“The next one we got from her (Dawned) was Enjoy Elsie, who was by Sepoy, and she was probably the best one, but she fractured her pelvis after one race.” – Rob Crosby

Enjoy Elsie (Sepoy) is now one of Rob and Pam Crosby’s six broodmares at home in Tamworth, and she has a Frosted three-quarter yearling brother to Kooled and is due to foal to Pierata this spring. She is one of two daughters of Dawned that the Crosbys have, and she is more valuable to them now than ever.

Rob Crosby opted to sell Kooled’s dam at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale this year, and she sold to Arrowfield Stud, via Jon Freyer, in foal to The Autumn Sun for $200,000.

Freyer, Arrowfield’s bloodstock manager, said the decision to buy Dawned was all about her smart grey colt Kooled.

“We’d been very impressed with him as a 2-year-old, which is why we bought her,” Freyer said, before admitting the irony about Kooled’s Gosford win on Wednesday. “They call him ‘little Chautauqua’, but he led today.”

Freyer confirmed that Dawned is booked to debut shuttler Admire Mars (Jpn) at Arrowfield this season, the stallion serving his first book after a highly successful racing career in Asia that included three Group 1 wins.

Admire Mars (Jpn) | Standing at Arrowfield Stud

Admire Mars will stand at Arrowfield this season for $22,000 (inc GST).