An emotional Bryan Guy and family friend Tommy Berry have delivered Hong Kong trainer John Moore his first Australian Group 1 victory with Eagle Way in the $600,000 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Eagle Way and Tommy Berry head for the line, picture Stevehart.com.au
Eagle Way powered home in the 2400-metre feature to outstay Rodrico by 1-3/4 lengths with Queenslander I’m Belucci, a simialr margin away third.
Moore, a son of legendary jockey George Moore who won three Queensland Derbies, has been one of Hong Kong’s leading trainers for many years but has never trained a Group 1 winner in this country.
Guy has trained four previous Group 1’s but rated the Derby success as his greatest thrill in racing.
“This is unbelievable and the greatest thrill ever,” Guy said.
“Especially as my son Daniel and I are going into a training partnership at the start of the new season.”
Eagle Way had only won three of his previous 12 starts and is now headed to Hong Kong where Moore will train him for the Hong Kong Derby and possibly a return to Australian for the spring staying races.
“I’m ecstatic and I can’t believe I’ve won a Group 1 in Australia,” Moore said.
“It was a good ride from Tommy who’ve I’ve had a lot of success with in Hong Kong.”
Berry revealed their friendship went back a long way.
“My Dad used to ride for Bryan Guy’s father so I’ve got a good connection there,” Berry said.
Earlier “Magic Man” Joao Moreira made a successful hit and run visit to Brisbane when Tsaritsa won the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m).
Riding for the first time in Brisbane, Moreira produced a gem of a ride on the Chris Waller-trained three-year-old who finished strongly to down Denmagic by a neck.
Toowoomba filly Sold For Song came from last to fill the minor placing, a further 1-1/4 lengths away.
“She gave me a great feel and I knew I was going to be strong to the finish,” Moreira said.
“She loved the track. It played beautifully and you can win from anywhere.
“When you ride for a trainer like Chris Waller and ride a horse so fit and well I feel very proud.”
Hong Kong-based Moreira has had a good association with the Waller stable in recent times winning three Australian Group 1s on Brazen Beau (2014 Coolmore and 2015 Newmarket) and He’s Your Man (2014 Epsom).
Waller is undecided if Tsaritsa will continue her winter campaign for the Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 25.
“The Tiara is an option but I want to see how the older horses perform in the Stradbroke and then make a decision,” Waller said.
Waller said the Group 1 Epsom Handicap in the spring was a possible option if he decides against running in the Tatt’s Tiara.