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New colours for Grunt in Flemington return

grunt
Dual Group One winner Grunt will race in new colours when he contests the Shaftesbury Avenue.

Grunt is set to step out in the colours of Zhang Yuesheng when he makes his return to racing at Flemington.

The Mick Price-trained four-year-old runs in the Shaftesbury Avenue (1400m) on Saturday on his way to a start in the All-Star Mile at Flemington on March 16.

Yulong Investments has taken a controlling interest in last year’s Australian Guineas winner Grunt who will become the first stallion for the group when he is retired from racing.

Chief operating officer Sam Fairgray said the four-year-old, who also won the Makybe Diva in the spring, would race on with the possibility of a Sydney campaign to follow the All-Star Mile.

Fairgray said Grunt appealed as a prospective stallion as a good looking son of O’Reilly.

“He was a Group One winning three-year-old and a weight-for-age winner as a four-year-old and as a racehorse he’s the real deal,” Fairgray said.

“We saw the opportunity and a lot of upside with him on the racing side and then with our breeding operation.

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“He’s a stallion that will sit well for us in Victoria and the O’Reilly’s work well here in Australia.

“We’re happy to have him and support him and if he goes to stud this year or the following year I’m sure he’ll be well supported.”

Yulong Investments have steadily increased their numbers and will look to add another stallion to their stocks.

Fairgray said there was 130 broodmares on their books with 140 racing stock.

“We’ll keep on improving our broodmare band in the next few years and we’re really pleased with how the racing stock are going,” Fairgray said.

“Mr Zhang’s been successful in all his other ventures and no doubt he’ll do the same again with the thoroughbred breed here in Australia.”

Fairgray said trainer Chris Waller would determine whether German import Advance Yulong lines up against Grunt or contests the Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Randwick on Saturday.

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