Having only been training horses in his own right for 11 months today’s incredible Queensland Derby 2014 victory with Sonntag then was a great story for young Melbourne horseman Henry Dwyer.
Dwyer, 30, has held his license for two years and has experience with some of the country’s best.
He has only been out on his own for under a year however, but already the profile is big and the rewards great after he won the $500,000 Group 1 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Handicap Day.
The horse to hand him the maiden Group 1 he’ll never forget is Teofilo gelding Sonntag, ridden by Chad Schofield, having just their eighth career start here.
“Young Henry Dwyer whose only just started training has done an excellent job,” Schofield said after the win.
A former Darley-owned and Peter Snowden-trained youngster, Sonntage was a $58,000 buy for connections from William Inglis and Son the tried horse sales last August.
Having been given a 50-50 chance of surviving just 12 weeks after their purchase however after an infection following a stable accident, it’s certainly been a roller coaster ride for all those involved.
“Within three months the horse was fighting for his life,” part-owner Shane Anderson said.
“In the space of six months they were 50-50 chance of living and now we’ve just won a Queensland Derby…just unbelievable.”
All the setbacks were well and truly atoned for then as Sonntag came off very good form in the lower class Melbourne races, including a lead-up Caulfield win over 200m, to step up to a Group 1 over the mile and a half and win today.
It was a fighting finish in the Queensland Derby too with plenty of livewire chances giving the punters a hold-your-breath moment.
On the line though Sonntag ($13) stretched out and was able to beat home a brave Troy Corstens-trained Pinstripe Lane ($5.50) in an all Victorian quinella.
Chris Waller’s Grand Prix Stakes winner Vilanova ($4.80) was then in a photo for third with Kiwi filly Rock Diva ($5.50).
Rock Diva was given a gun ride from Zac Purton, back home from Hong Kong for the ride, finding the fence.
But they had no luck in the straight and so were just nudged out of the Queensland Derby trifecta.
Leading the Queensland Derby field after settling was Rudy down the outside coming across from their wide gate to lead.
In second were Sonntag and Pinstripe Lane third.
While those two held their positions until the very end, Helen Page’s Gold Coast galloper Rudy trailed off to finish at the back of the pack.
Schofield meanwhile got a great run on the back of Pinstripe Lane who did the hard work getting into the race for him and Sonntag.
“We had a lovely run in the race,” Schofield said.
“Following the hardest to beat, in my opinion, Pinstripe Lane did everything for me I just had to follow.
“But gee my bloke tried hard and he just kept winding up and it was a very brave win.
“The horse looked a million dollars in the yard…I wouldn’t have swapped him for anything.
“His for was very good.”
Having done their job in their one-run Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival raid, Sonntag will now head home for a stint in the paddock before coming back for what is sure to be a big spring campaign in Melbourne.
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2014 Queensland Derby Results & Finishing Order
Eagle Farm Race 7 – 07/06/2014
|1||7||SONNTAG||Henry Dwyer||Chad Schofield||–||5||57kg||$13|
|2||4||PINSTRIPE LANE (NZ)||Troy Corstens||Damien Oliver||0.2L||7||57kg||$5.50|
|3||2||VILANOVA (NZ)||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||0.7L||13||57kg||$4.80F|
|4||16||ROCK DIVA (NZ)||Tony Pike||Zac Purton||1.2L||12||55kg||$6|
|5||1||AMEXED (NZ)||Tony Gollan||Michael Rodd||2.5L||9||57kg||$12|
|6||6||BRING BACK||Mark Ashby||Glen Boss||2.9L||3||57kg||$61|
|7||11||ELUSIVE RUNNER||John Sargent||Tommy Berry||3L||1||57kg||$10|
|8||9||TAKEWING||Jason Coyle||Blake Shinn||3.2L||2||57kg||$71|
|9||17||TELEPATHIC (NZ)||Donna Logan||Mark Du Plessis||4L||14||55kg||$9|
|10||12||POP ’N’ SCOTCH||John P Thompson||Ryan Wiggins||4.8L||11||57kg||$81|
|11||14||METEOROLOGIST||Marcus Wilson||Jim Byrne||5.8L||16||57kg||$151|
|12||10||COLONEL CARRERA (NZ)||Graeme & Debbie Rogerson||Timothy Bell||6.3L||17||57kg||$101|
|13||5||HAPPY AS HELL||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Dwayne Dunn||6.6L||10||57kg||$26|
|14||18||GRANADOS||Toby Edmonds||Chris Munce||6.8L||8||55kg||$201|
|15||15||AUBERGE||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||7.6L||6||57kg||$17|
|16||8||OUTSTRIP||Brad Herne||Brad Stewart||8.1L||4||57kg||$151|
|17||3||RUDY||Helen Page||Hugh Bowman||12.9L||18||57kg||$15|
|18||13||OUR UNCLE ARCHIE||Steve Englebrecht||Damian Browne||59.9L||15||57kg||$101|
|–||20e||DECKHAND (NZ)||Michael Moroney||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||19e||LEVER LEVER (NZ)||Matthew Dunn||–||–||0||–||–|