Cool’s un­likely spring path

McEvoy mare makes long jour­ney from WA pad­dock to Clas­sic

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - SHAYNE O’CASS

LATE bloomer Cool Pas­sion could eas­ily have been nurs­ing a foal in a pad­dock some­where at present but will in­stead line-up with gen­uine chance of win­ning to­mor­row’s Group 1 VRC Myer Clas­sic (1600m) at Flem­ing­ton.

It was the in­ter­ven­tion of pedi­gree an­a­lyst Jane Hen­ning that set Cool Pas­sion on an un­likely jour­ney that saw her cross the Nul­la­bor, win a Group 3 at Caulfield, and now put hand up in one of the most pres­ti­gious mares races on cal­en­dar.

Hen­ning, founder of Pedi­gree Dy­nam­ics, has de­signed the mat­ings that re­sulted in Group 1 win­ners in­clud­ing Golden Slip­per win­ner Belle Du Jour, clas­sic

Mace­don Lady and He’s No Pie Eater as well as Syd­ney Cup win­ner Mr Pru­dent.

“I have been buy­ing horses for Cool Pas­sion’s orig­i­nal owner, Michael MacDer­mott for about 12 years,” Hen­ning ex­plained.

“I bought Cool Pas­sion’s dam, Hi­a­vanna in foal to Fast­net Rock for Michael and did the mare’s next three mat­ings – one of those was to Not A Sin­gle Doubt that pro­duced Cool Pas­sion. Michael took the mare and an­other one of her foals, plus Pas­sion who was a two-year- old at the time back to his prop­erty in WA.

“He left the horses out in the pad­dock and due to his ill health, didn’t worry about do­ing much with them for ages. Cool Pas­sion

get bro­ken in un­til she was ris­ing four and she didn’t come into work un­til was a fouryear- old,” Hen­ning said.

“Michael called me few months ago and asked if I had been fol­low­ing Cool Pas­sion who was rac­ing in WA which of course I had been. She ran some good races over there, she a huge race in a Group 3 Prince of Wales Stakes won by Rock Magic – she had wide run and ac­tu­ally beat Vega Magic home.

“Michael was in­ter­ested in see- ing the mare race in the East­ern States but his health wasn’t good enough at the time so he asked if I’d like to sell her for him.

“I ap­proached good friends and clients of mine – John and Anne McDon­nell who were in Se­bring and Fiorente sug­gested they buy the mare as a rac­ing and breed­ing propo­si­tion which they did.

“John said ‘we can hear the ex­cite­ment in your voice Jane so let’s do it.’

The McDon­nell’s in­vited an ea­ger Hen­ning and hus­band Dik Balian to come in on the rac­ing own­er­ship which they were only too happy do.

Cool Pas­sion was trans­ferred to Tony McEvoy and after a luck­less 10th of 13 at Balaklava, it’s been a rapid rise for the now sixyear- old.

A win in the Group 3 North­wood Plume on Oc­to­ber 14 was backed-up seven days later with a nose sec­ond in the Group 2 VRC Tristarc Stakes (1400m) be­hind Myer ri­val Global Glam­our.

“She’s just gone from strength to strength which is fan­tas­tic,” Hen­ning says. “Tony is very bullish about her, he thinks we haven’t found the bot­tom of her yet.”

Global Glam­our (left) beat­ing Cool Pas­sion dur­ing their last clash in the Tristarc Stakes.

Dik Balian and Jane Hen­ning. Pic Nina Han­ley.

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