Brambles (NZ) heads NZ trifecta in G1 Queensland Derby
11 Jun 2012 | Tough three-year-old Brambles (NZ) justified his pre-race favouritism with a brilliant front-running performance to head a New Zealand Bloodstock trifecta in the A$500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
With New Zealand and/or Karaka claiming the first seven horses across the line, Brambles (Savabeel x Prickle) also continued New Zealand's stellar Derby record which has seen New Zealand bred horses claim 17 Derby victories around the world since 2010.
The Queensland Carnival has seen the Peter Moody trained Brambles flourish into a top talent, winning the classic Derby lead-up contests - including the G3 BRC Grand Prix on 26 May and the G3 BRC Rough Habit Plate - before racing his way to his first Group 1 victory on Saturday.
Brambles' Derby triumph has secured the Group 1 Queensland Oaks/Group 1 Queensland Derby double for Karaka graduates, a feat that was also achieved by Scarlett Lady (Savabeel) and Shootoff (Duelled) last year.
In a top ride from jockey Brad Rawiller on Saturday, Brambles was taken to the lead after jumping from barrier 11 and set a good pace for the 2400 metre classic. Rounding the 600 metre mark the son of Savabeel had the field under pressure and was dominant in the straight, maintaining his strong gallop to win by 1.5 lengths.
"It was a well-judged ride from Brad and a good tough effort from the horse," commented Moody after Brambles' Derby win.
"He has climbed the mountain each time this horse and he continued to show improvement right throughout his preparation. He has done a tremendous job."
The John Sargent trained Quintessential (NZ) (Fast 'N' Famous) put in a brilliant showing to run into second place. Winner of the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) last weekend, she lost no admirers after a tough run in transit.
The Robert Smerdon trained Westsouthwest (NZ) (Darci Brahma) claimed third place and completed the trifecta for Karaka graduates with Tohunga (NZ) (Zabeel) fourth, Vatuvei (Reset) fifth, Zabeelionaire (NZ) (Zabeel) sixth and Red Shift (NZ) (Lucky Unicorn) seventh.
A highly consistent galloper, Brambles has won five of his ten starts and placed in a further four, and now looks a top prospect for the rich staying races in the spring.
Bred by Celia Crawshaw, Brambles was purchased by Moody Racing from Waikato Stud at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2010 Karaka Premier Sale for $100,000.
Raced by Peter Moody, Oti Uthmeyer Higgins, Maverick Racing, Mr D Minogue, Mr J Neeson, Mr C Sarantakos, Mrs B White, Dooner Armidale Racing, Mr R De Zoete-Spiero and The Flo, Brambles has now won over A$565,000 in stakes.
Peter Moody also purchased the full brother to Brambles at this year's Karaka Premier Sale from Anistay Lodge for $110,000.
Brambles is the third individual Group 1 winner for his Cox Plate winning sire Savabeel (Zabeel) who stands at Waikato Stud. Garry & Mark Chittick's Waikato Stud had plenty of cause to celebrate on Saturday with their sire Fast 'N' Famous also providing the second placegetter.
Savabeel sired his first Group 1 winner at the Carnival last year with Scarlett Lady winning the Queensland Oaks and Sangster added to his classic tally when winning the Group 1 VRC Derby in the spring.
The sire of 17 stakes winners, Savabeel has also seen the likes of Strike the Stars, Lady Kipling, Floria, Fromelles, Dowager Queen and Nandowra successful at stakes level this season.
The Derby victory brought up the first Group 1 win for Pins as a broodmare sire. Also standing at Waikato Stud, Pins is the broodmare sire of four stakes winners including Group 3 winner Golden Archer (Rock of Gibraltar).
Pins has the right credentials to become a successful broodmare sire as his sire Snippets is the damsire of 60 stakes winners including Golden Slipper winner Cristal Lily (Stratum) and Newmarket Handicap winner and now sire Wanted (Fastnet Rock).
The Derby win capped off a blue ribbon day for Peter Moody as he also took out the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) with Mid Summer Music (Oamaru Force) and the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) with the New Zealand bred Lights of Heaven (Zabeel).
In other news the Karaka weanling graduate Solzhenitsyn (NZ) continued his hot form on Saturday taking his second consecutive stakes victory in the $80,000 Listed Strawberry Road Handicap (1600m) at Eagle Farm.
Trained by Robert Heathcote and ridden by Michael Rodd, Solzhenitsyn (St Petersburg x Tri Victory) was trapped wide and back in the field in the early stages of the race and improved three wide during the running to be four lengths from the leaders at the 600 metre mark.
In the straight the five-year-old was too sharp for his opposition, taking the lead at the 200 metre mark and racing away to win by one-and-a-quarter lengths with the New Zealand bred Firebolt (NZ) (Stravinsky) taking second place.
The son of St Petersburg took the Group 3 Lord Mayor's Cup (1600m) at his last start and Saturday's win was his third consecutive victory this preparation.
Trainer Robert Heathcote is undecided where Solzhenitsyn will go next with the Tatt's Mile a possibility and also the spelling paddock.
Solzhenitsyn has always shown ability but has really come into his own this preparation. Heathcote is keen to see him take the next step and is looking at aiming the horse at the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) in the spring. He is also not ruling out a tilt at the Cox Plate.
Trained by Richard Otto before moving to Australia, Solzhenitsyn raced nine times in New Zealand for three wins and three placings and ran third to subsequent stakes winner Fazzle (Johar) at his last NZ appearance at Ellerslie on New Year's Day last year.
Bred by Grande Vue Lodge Syndicate, Solzhenitsyn was offered by Grande Vue Lodge at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2007 National Weanling Sale and was purchased by Paul Willetts for $10,000.
Raced by Paul Willetts, Mr Lawrence Nash, Mrs Cherry Taylor, Mr J Capo, Mr Damon Gabbedy and Mr A Watkins, Solzhenitsyn has now won nine of his 21 career starts for over $370,000 in stakes.
Solzhenitsyn is the leading performer for his sire St Petersburg (Nureyev) who is the sire of five stakes winners including Chartreuse and St Peter's Gift.
In Sydney honest racemare Alberton Park (NZ) picked up her first stakes victory fresh up on Saturday in the A$100,000 Listed June Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill.
Given a cracking ride by jockey Tommy Berry, five-year-old Alberton Park (Thorn Park x Alberton Star) jumped well from barrier four to settle in sixth place near the rail off a furious pace.
However, the John O'Shea trained mare had to work as she found trouble inside the last 200 metres when boxed in by Stratana (Stratum). In a smart ride and a hard fought victory, the daughter of Thorn Park was brought across the heels of Stratana and produced a powerful finishing burst to win by three quarters of a length.
Alberton Park has been racing against some tough competition, including running a last start sixth in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) to Ofcourseican (Mossman). In her two races leading into the Group 1 she was twice stakes placed in the Listed Triscay Stakes (1200m) and Listed Wenona Girl (1200m).
Alberton Park is the 16th stakes winner for her sire Thorn Park who stands at Windsor Park Stud. New Zealand's reigning champion sire, Thorn Park has had a successful season with the likes of top gallopers Veyron and Ocean Park and currently sits in second place on the NZ Sires Premiership by earnings for this season behind O'Reilly.
Bred by Mr E Kerr-Taylor & Anne Storey, Alberton Park was purchased by Lakeview Stud from Windsor Park Stud at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2008 Premier Sale for $200,000. Her dam Alberton Star (Stylish Century) won the Group 2 Taranaki 2YO Classic and Group 3 Eclipse Stakes.
Raced by E-Thoroughbred Pty Ltd and Mr L Nestadt, Alberton Park has now won seven of her 34 starts with 16 additional placings and just shy of $500,000 in stakes.