NZ DERBY DEFERMENT SUITS
Kentuckiana Lodge trainer Cran Dalgety has welcomed a two-week deferment of the $200,000 New Zealand Derby at Addington to April 23.
“Its a bonus for us,” Cran said.
Stablemates Matt Maguire and Empyrean both returned from Melbourne in early February with viral infections, missing the Northern Derby, but were back at the Rangiora trials on Wednesday, March 16.
“There was a bit of bug going around Pukekohe around Christmas-Year which Empyrean picked up and ended up staying with him for six weeks,” Cran said.
“Matt raced super in Melbourne, but when he returned with his immunities low, he grabbed it too,” he said.
“But we’re back now and having the Derby put back gives us that little bit more time to be ready.”
Photo: Victoria Derby placegetter Matt Maguire is keen for Dexter a lap out in the 3 wins or more mobile 2000m heat at the Rangiora trials on Wednesday.
Matt Maguire, an unlucky third in Sushi Sushi’s Victoria Derby Final, after being badly held up by the tiring Royal Verdict on the home turn, was all business at the trials.
He led up and trialled keenly in the 3 or more wins mobile 2000m pace, holding Mach Banner, third mostly, by a head in a quick 2:28.5 (1:59.4 mile rate), running his last 800m in 56.8s and closing 400m in 28s.
“He was pretty fired up the wee fella,” said driver Dexter Dunn.
“He went good though as Mach Banner’s not a bad horse and didn’t get past him. I was pretty happy with him.”
“Matt blew out the last 50m but he was still going reasonably well. It should just take the freshness out of him,” said Dexter.
Empyrean, looking big and bold, was held back throughout the 1-2 win mobile 2000m heat and went to the line full of running.
“Empyrean was jogging,” said Dexter. “He was going good but may need another run.”
Victory went to the front-running Caesar’s Bracelet, who just held Juniper Bromac, who trailed, by a nose, in a leisurely 2:36.7 (2:06 mile rate), the last 800m in 57.8s.
The Bill Roberts-trained Kristina, who settled third and moved up to challenge on the home turn, was an improver’s third 2 3/4 lengths away.
Hip Hop Anvil, after being held back four lengths at the start, tailed the field throughout.
Orl Black and Raging Bull will both contest next Wednesday’s $40,000 PGG 2YO Graduate at the NZ Metropolitan meeting at Rangiora after sound trials on Wednesday.
“They just want racing. They’ve had enough trials now,” Cran said.
The former settled last of the six runners in the 2YO colts and geldings mobile heat, improved wide on the turn, then switched back to the inner in the straight as another rival ran wide.
Orl Black finished on for third without being asked for a serious effort by Dexter, a little over eight lengths from front-running Kotare Roland, who put a big break on his rivals passing the 600m marker and won untested in a useful 2:29.9 (2:00.5 mile rate), running his last 800m in 57.7s.
Photo: Texican, a Bettor’s Delight gelding from the same family as Tight Connection (1:56.6), qualifies in the hands of Jack Trainor at Rangiora, finishing second behind runaway winner Kotare Roland.
Texican (2g Bettor’s Delight-Bury My Heart), who trailed three back for trials driver Jack Trainor, was held up when the trailing horse ran greenly at the 600m but rallied well in the straight to hold second, 3/4 of a length in front of Orl Black.
The Jim and Susan Wakefield-owned Texican qualified in 2:31.4 for the mobile 2000m.
Raging Bull, after also settling back, showed speed to dispute the pace turning for home, and wasn’t asked for any more in the run home, finishing 2 1/2 lengths behind winner, the Paul Kerr-trained Ged’s Courage, who finished stoutly from the third line.
Ged’s Courage paced the mobile 2000m in 2:35.3 (2:04.9 mile rate), the leaders running their last 800m in 58s.
Unraced maiden Double Happy (3g Bettor’s Delight-Merrily Merrily), trailed front-runner Corbell for much of their non-win mobile 2000m pace for Jack Trainor, and fought on for a close-up fourth.
Victory went to the Mark Jones-trained newcomer Rockabella, who settled last and unleashed wide to win by a neck in 2:30 (2:00.6 mile rate), the leaders running their last 800m in 56.9s
Rockabella, an Art Major filly purchased out of the Neil Hamilton barn for Queensland owner Greg Brodie, wore down Twilight Rascal (parked), with half heads to Corbell and Double Happy.
By Jeff Scott