Derby aspirations for Wertheimer (NZ)

Former New Zealand three-year-old Wertheimer (NZ) did not take long to make his presence felt across the Tasman. The son of Tavistock won first-up in the $35,000, TAB Long May We Play Maiden Plate (1300m) at Cranbourne on Wednesday for trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young and they were fairly confident heading into his fresh-up assignment.

“He has come over from Andrew Campbell and has been here a few weeks,” said Young. 

“He has adapted really well and he worked really nicely the other day with Savvy Lad. We thought he would go a great race today. He hasn’t put a foot wrong since stepping into the barn.”

The couple are now eyeing lofty targets with the gelding heading into spring.

“We will try and bring him through, maybe get him to Sandown in a couple of weeks in a (BenchMark) 64 1400m and see if he can make that grade,” Young said.

“We will always have the (Victoria) Derby (Gr.1, 2500m) in the back of our mind, especially with Tommy Heptinstall (part-owner) with those colours.

“He is out of a Lonhro mare that we used to have back in the stable in New Zealand a few years ago. We will definitely take that (Derby) path with him.”

Busuttin and Young are also looking forward to lining up Savvy Lad (NZ) in the $75,000, Rubaroc Bm70 Handicap (1410m) at Flemington on Saturday after his pleasing first-up run at Caulfield last month.

The Savabeel four-year-old finished third behind Mystery Shot and Wicklow Town over 1400m and his connections are hoping he can break through for his first win in Australia this weekend.  

“Savvy Lad was unlucky first-up, he got beaten by a couple of smart horses, but he ran third after copping a severe check at the 600m and was only beaten by a length and a bit,” Busuttin told RSN927.

“They were good horses that finished in front of him. He is dropping back to a (BenchMark) 70 so I would say he will be very hard to beat on a big Flemington track.”

Savvy Lad won two starts in New Zealand for former trainers Matthew and Michael Pitman, but disappointed in his first two Australian runs for the Busuttin-Young team.

“He trialled up excellently and Damian Oliver gave him good reviews and he went to the races and jarred up badly at Caulfield first-up,” Busuttin said. 

“We probably should have put him in the paddock, but we pushed on with him a bit and he felt it second up so we gave him a good break.

“He has come back really well and there is a nice race for him somewhere in the spring.”

Wertheimer (NZ) and Damien Oliver, picture Racing Photos