The Lee and Shannon Hope-trained Johar gelding Folding Gear went out as a $12 chance in The Yalumba 162 at Blue Diamond Stakes Day on Saturday February 26.
In a gallant run Folding Gear was able to score a gritty victory over Peter Moody’s Elusive King ($6.50) while $3.10 favourite Almindoro was three and a half lengths away in third.
Folding Gear, purchased for $50,000 at the 2009 Ready To Run Sale in New Zealand, was having just their fourth career start in The Yalumba 162.
The win was their second to date after Folding Gear broke their maiden status in an 1800m restricted race at Sandown on February 9, Saturday’s success boosting their prize money to $132,088.
Connections said Folding Gear would be set on the Derby path with both the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 9 and the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 7 both possibilities for the improving galloper.
In-form hoop Ben Melham was aboard Folding Gear for their Caulfield win on the weekend, also impressed with the Derby hopefuls’ raw ability and professional racing demeanour.
The Yalumba 162 runner-up Elusive King is nominated for this Saturday’s 2011 Australian Guineas at Flemington, but is unlikely to gain a spot in the $750,000 Group 1 field sitting 27th on the order of entry.
The 2011 Australian Derby nominations close on Monday April 4.
Early betting on the race will open later this month, so get ready for the action by signing up with Australian punters’ favourite bookmaker Luxbet today!
Photo courtesy (c) Taron Clarke Photography