Surprise Baby bigger and stronger than ever


Trainer Paul Preusker has joked about needing a few better sprinters in his yard to push his stable star Surprise Baby (NZ) (Shocking) in trackwork.

Surprise Baby is currently second favourite for the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup at $13, but is at $34 for the Gr.1 WS Cox Plate. The son of Shocking was sold by Rich Hill Stud for $5,500 on in November 2017 and was the run of the race in last year’s Melbourne Cup.

“It’s a matter of whether he’s a genuine Cox Plate contender,” Preusker told “I feel like he is – he’s got this turn of foot.

“He’s probably the best sprinter I’ve got too. He’s unique. Even this morning, I just thought ‘I am going to need better sprinters to work with him’. He’s always been that way.”

Preusker revealed, “I remember going to the Melbourne Cup and at that stage I Am Someone was a sparring partner for him and he was a horse that won a Wangoom but he’d (Surprise Baby) still sit well off those guys and reel them in easily. He’s sharp alright.”

Surprise Baby will head to the Gr.2 Feehan Stakes over a mile for his first run this spring, and Preusker is pleased his owners showed patience by spelling the horse instead of chasing the autumn.

“He’s back in full swing and I really couldn’t be any happier with him. He’s grown a lot since then so he’s appreciated the break. He’s a bigger, stronger horse and mentally he’s great so there’s a good foundation there.” – NZ Racing News, photo Bruno Canatelli

Currently online are 69 thoroughbreds in the mixed sale while on Gavelhouse Plus there are three unreserved broodmares including Rollout The Carpet in foal to The Autumn Sun and a weanling colt by Pierro.


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