Slipper winner Farnan returns to training with the Coolmore an option.


Phoenix Thoroughbreds co-owned Farnan is back in training with Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott ahead of a three-year-old campaign that could include the Coolmore Stakes as the main race target.

Bred by Phoenix and raced in partnership with Aquis, Farnan proved himself one of the best colts of his generation in a superb campaign that saw him win the Silver Slipper and Todman Stakes before his crowning glory in the Golden Slipper. The Son Of Not A Single Doubt was sent for a break following his victory in the World’s most valuable juvenile race and arrived back with Gai and Adrian this week.

“He looks fantastic!” said Bott “We gave him a good break following his win in the Golden Slipper. We felt he’d been up a while, from his Magic Millions campaign and then through the traditional Golden Slipper lead-up. There was temptation there for him to carry on through the two-year-old triple crown. We certainly feel he would have been more than capable of carrying on that path and prove to be very successful, but we were mindful of the length of the campaign he had as a young horse.

“He went back to Aquis Farm up in Queensland and had six weeks out in the paddock. He did very well, put on the condition we wanted to see and we just felt that giving him that time out would be beneficial. Our thinking was that we have an exciting colt with the potential of being a top-class horse for us at weight for age level going forward.”

His two-year-old performances certainly left their mark on the Australian racing landscape. Always held in high regard by his connections, he only seemed to improve for racing putting in a sequence of scintillating runs that culminated in that sensational success in the Golden Slipper. But the question is now, could he be an even better as a three-year-old? Perhaps slightly concerning for his rivals, the answer seems to be “yes he can”.

“We just felt it was all-natural, raw ability he was doing it on last campaign,” continued Bott. “Just sheer speed and class so there’s a real potential for him to come back and continue on that path. That had us really excited and as I said, we wanted to give him every opportunity to come back and prove that. We felt he proved everything he needed to as a two-year-old, he won all those juvenile races and there’s no bigger than the Golden Slipper as a stallion making race.”

“I think what he did in the one campaign was quite remarkable. Even the races he won the Todman, The Silver Slipper and the Golden Slipper, there are not many horses in recent times that have won all those and done it in such dominant fashion. He really is, or was, the dominant colt of his generation.”

Farnan’s road ahead is still being finalised by Phoenix Thoroughbreds, Aquis Farm and the Waterhouse/Bott team. However, at this stage, the Coolmore Stakes appears the most likely main race target, heading there via the Golden Rose. But whatever the final plan connections won’t be scared of taking on longer trips this campaign.

“We’ve kept the options open for him and we’ve got the opportunity to stretch him out to the 1400m for the Golden Rose which could potentially be an early target.” Explained Bott. “Even the Coolmore down the straight is a very testing 1200m race. You’re exposed all the way, so you need to be more than a 1200m horse in those events.

“I think he’s got the pedigree and constitution to do so while he’s got plenty of tactical speed he’s not one dimensional. He settles in his races and has the attitude you need to do well in those longer races. Those could come into play in this preparation and it wasn’t the distances we were avoiding as a two-year-old. We just felt the timing of those didn’t fit what we all wanted to achieve with the colt going forward.”

Whatever the final plan for the star colt turns out to be, it looks like an exciting campaign ahead for all concerned.