Golden Slipper hope Mossfun chases more fun for Emirates Park

Mossfun could cap the re-emergence of Emirates Park as a breeding power, under the guidance of Trevor Lobb, in Saturday’s Golden Slipper at Rosehill.

It was clear 12 months ago that Emirates would once again be a major player in Australia when its owner, His Excellency Nasser Lootah, in partnership with Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, paid $4 million for a Fastnet Rock colt out of River Dove.

However, it is Emirates' only other purchase from Easter that takes centre stage on Saturday.

Mossfun came out of the second book of the Easter sale and Lobb, Emirates Park chief executive, signed for $85,000 for the filly. She has proved to be a smart purchase, banking $471,000 from three wins in her four starts.

Owner Nasser Lootah is heading at Rosehill to enjoy having a runner in the Golden Slipper.

“I could not be happier for the boss. Nasser and his son Hussain have put a lot of money into this industry in Australia and it would be great to take them to that next level,” Lobb said,

“We have had a rebuilding period in the first couple of years, we have a runner in the Slipper and everything is looking forward.”

Part of the success of Mossfun has to be put down to the preparation by John Hawkes and sons Michael and Wayne, who are back working with Lobb, as they did when the Ingham brothers owned Crown Lodge.

“John and I have been associated for a lot of years and you can’t find anyone who looks after their horse better,” Lobb said. “We have had a lot of runners in the Slipper together, and we know you need luck.

“She is a filly that can go forward and take up position, so that is a positive.

“John and the boys have done a marvellous job and we just need luck in the run.”

Team Hawkes has got it right with Mossfun. She won the Inglis Nursery then progressed through the Widden Stakes and Silver Slipper unbeaten before not being disgraced when second to Earthquake in the Reisling Stakes.

“She has got a good filly to beat [Earthquake], in saying that I think it is a very winnable Slipper,” Michael Hawkes said.

“Our filly only got beat a length by Earthquake last time and she had done nothing wrong up until that day.

“She raced a bit green [in the Reisling] and maybe a bit fresh – she did a few things wrong and still got within a length of her. So we weren’t that unhappy after that.”

Lobb had orders to get the best colt from Easter and looked at all the fillies in the sale to find Mossfun.

“We had a list of about seven and she was the second last one to go up,” Lobb remembered. “The colt brought more than we originally thought it would, but she  came in under our calculations.”

There had been some talk that Mossfun had poor X-rays and it was the reason that Emirates were able to secure her for a relatively bargain price.

“I don’t know where that came from,” Lobb said. “My vets said that she was worth buying and [they] didn’t have any problem with her, so we went ahead and bought her.

“I have used the same vets for 25 years and has it turned we are in the Slipper, so they must have been right.”

Mossfun hasn’t disappointed since and from barrier 11, on the immediate inside of favourite Earthquake, she might be able to control her own destiny.

“This filly was set for the Inglis race and she has continued to strengthen and improve. She has done everything asked of her,” Lobb said.

“We are not displeased with the barrier. We have an in-form jockey [James McDonald] and she is happy within herself, so we look forward to the race now.”

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