Up-and-Comer Golden Path (NZ) Captures McKell Cup

1 July 2024

Highly talented Karaka graduate Golden Path (NZ) (Belardo) announced his arrival on the Australian black-type stage with a runaway victory in Saturday’s A$200,000 Listed Toyota Forklifts W J McKell Cup (2000m) at Rosehill.

Golden Path (NZ) glides away to take out the A$200,000 Listed Toyota Forklifts W J McKell Cup (2000m) at Rosehill.

Golden Path was bought by Michael Rogers for $35,000 from Book 2 of Karaka 2021. His 11-start career has now produced four wins, two second placings and A$364,750 in stakes.

The chestnut gelding made a hugely promising start to his career around this time last year, winning two of his first three starts. His form dipped after a fourth placing in the Group Three Sandown Stakes (1500m) in the spring, but he turned things around last month with a close fifth in the A$500,000 The Coast (1600m) on May 11 and a win over 2000 metres at Randwick two weeks later.

Saturday brought a bigger challenge, but Golden Path showed that he was well and truly up to the task.

The four-year-old settled in fifth place for jockey Chad Schofield before producing a change of gears in the straight that none of his rivals could match. He burst clear and won with ease, crossing the finish line three and a half lengths in front of his nearest challenger.

“Golden Path has really turned the corner,” Schofield said. “Since the blinkers have gone on, he is just a real racehorse now. He's jumping, he's putting himself on the pace, he is travelling perfectly and then he's quickening.

“Obviously if you have a turn of foot at the end of a staying race, you're always going to be hard to beat.

“I hit the front far too early, but when I pushed the button, he really put them away and he was too good with the light weight.”

Golden Path races in the colours of prominent owner Carl Holt and is trained by Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr.

“That was good,” Holt said. “The blinkers have made a big difference to him and the team have done a great job with him.

“He has stepped up to a good level now. He is getting his rating up, so he can get into better races, so where to go next is a nice problem to have.”

Golden Path continued a purple patch of form for Haunui Farm's shuttle stallion Belardo, who has also been represented by the recent New Zealand stakes winners Belardo Boy (NZ), Belardi (NZ) and NZB National Online Yearling Sale graduate Southern Warrior (NZ).

Vendor Ardsley Stud Limited
Purchaser Mr M Rogers (Auckland)
Breeding Belardo – Golden Destination
Sale Lot 807, Karaka 2021 Book 2, $35,000
Bred by Ardsley Stud Ltd