Former New Zealand two-year-old of the year Five Card Draw is now a Queenslander.
Negotiations were completed last Friday after a deal was struck earlier in the week through well-known agent Paul Davies before being purchased by Dean Shannon.
The Bettors Delight gelding will join the stables of Fernvale based trainer/driver Darrel Graham after being previously prepared by legendary horseman Barry Purdon.
Graham has enjoyed immense success this season with another former Kiwi pacer in Major Sam, a winner of six of his last seven starts including four $20,000 events – two Seymour Rising Stars Championships and two Seymour Dash For Cash Finals at Albion Park.
Amazingly, Five Card Draw will arrive on Australian soil assessed as a CO/RO/MO.
“Given his credentials, he’s a nice horse to have in the stables and his assessment was too good to be true. That was the key component for us.” Graham said.
Five Card Draw was simply brilliant during his rookie term winning five of his seven starts including two Group One features.
His haul included the $NZ100,000 Cardigan Bay Stakes at Alexandra Park and the $NZ150,000 Harness Jewels Emerald Final at Cambridge while he also claimed the Listed $NZ243,000 PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales Open Final at Addington.
Five Card Draw was an obvious choice for 2yo Colt/Gelding Pacer of the Year.
As a three-year-old, Five Card Draw won twice from eight starts but battled niggling injuries along the way which forced him out of many classics during the season.
Since returning as a four-year-old, Five Card Draw has gone winless in nine starts while showing glimpses of his best form including a third placing in the Gr.2 $NZ51,000 Waikato Flying Mile at Cambridge behind Pembrook Benny and Christen Me in a time of 1;54.4.
“His overall record is very impressive and he vetted well last week so we’re hopeful he can do a good job here in Brisbane, coming over as a maiden gives us plenty of breathing space.
“Given our current structure with the weekly Seymour sponsored races plus the new metro system, we have a very good opportunity to make a good earn out of him. Hopefully, we can take him to Sydney and cash in on their good prizemoney.
“Another bonus with this horse, he is also eligible for the Australasian Breeders Crown series at the end of the season if his form holds up.”
FIVE CARD DRAW FACT FILE;
Prizemoney - $347,316
Best Time – 1;55.1
By Chris Barsby (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)