The Peter Moody stable continues to go from strength to strength, this time taking out the $500,000 Group 1 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
While his wonder mare Black Caviar is settling into life in England, Moody was saddling up two fancied runners in the Queensland Derby and was unlucky not to take the quinella.
Vatuvei (Nolen) was a great run and probably should have gone close to winning, but stablemate Brambles (NZ) has been racing well since arriving in the sunshine state, winning the group 3 Rough Habit Plate and group 3 Grand Prix Stakes leading in.
Ridden by Brad Rawiller, Brambles jumped quickly from a wide draw and headed straight for the lead. Unfortunately for his rivals, that was as close as they were going to get and the gelding led throughout to score impressively.
In the straight Queensland Oaks winner Quintessential (NZ) (Browne) was a genuine threat 250m from home when Brambles looked spent but the son of Savabeel dug deep and fought hard to get the win.
At the line the margin was a length and a quarter to Quintessential who never gave up with a long head to Westsouthwest (NZ) (Brown) in third. The overall time was 2.29.73 with the last 600m run in 37.94. Interestingly, six of the first seven runners were NZ bred and the non-kiwi was Vatuvei, named after the Auckland Warriors winger.
“It is a good job for a jockey,” Rawiller said. “Fastest horse wins.
“We were able to get across pretty good, without being tested but he didn’t switch off as good as he did at Doomben.
“I wanted to give him a little bit of a breather down the back and then at the 600m he really needed to start going so when we got to the 300m I thought we really need to see your guts buddy; he kept giving, he is a tough horse.
“I was worried, I had trust in him and thankfully he has trust him me but it was a tough effort.”
“It was a good tough effort,” Moody said. “It was a good judged ride from Brad and a tough effort from the horse.
“It was a great moment, he has climbed the mountain each time, this horse, and he has done a tremendous job and he has improved as this prep has gone on.
“I was confident, they were under pressure on the turn chasing him and it was very well judged by Brad.
“Let’s enjoy today and worry about the spring when it comes around.”
Brambles is by Savabeel out of the Pins mare Pickles (NZ) and is owned by Moody, Oti Uthemeyer Higgins, Maverick Racing, D Minogue, J Neeson, C Sarantakos, Mrs White, Dooner Armidale Racing, R De Zoete-Spiero & The Flo.
Brambles (NZ) and Brad Rawiller, picture Sportpix.com.au