An upset Tasmanian Derby 2015 result occurred under the lights at Friday night’s twilight meet at Hobart Racecourse with John Luttrell’s $65 roughie Geegees Classicboy beating home the favourite by a notable margin.
Wordsmith gelding Geegees Classicboy came via unplaced runs in both the Tasmanian Guineas and Hobart Guineas including a sixth when beaten nearly 11 lengths in the latter on January 25.
He improved when stepped up in distance however for Friday evening’s $100,000 Schweppes Tasmanian Derby (2200m) in a thrilling result for connections to hand his owner-breeders their second win in the race following star stayer Geegees Blackflash half a decade earlier.
Jockey Troy Baker retained the ride after he had replaced Rhonda Mangan in the saddle for the Hobart Guineas, the duo jumping at a juicy $64.70 starting price.
On the line however it was the outsider who got the better of the brave Gary White-trained favourite Shirlaee ($3.50), the Stratum gelding coming off a Hobart Guineas second, with Geegees Classicboy winning the Derby by one and a half lengths.
The Graeme McCulloch & David Keating-trained Valdez ($7.80) finished off the Tasmanian Derby trifecta then about a quarter length further back in third, the Sebring gelding going one better than his fourth to Warrior Of Fire in the Hobart Guineas, working hard in the closing stages.
The other top fancies in bettering Baja Moon ($4.40), the sole filly in the 13-starter field, and Dandy Gent ($3.90) from interstate were next past the post finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
Geegees Classicboy ran through a fence during a freak storm as a yearling and suffered life-threatening leg injuries to both his back legs, an incident that nearly derailed his career before it had began.
Paul and Elizabeth Geards’ GG Horse Stud managers Stuart and Ruth Gandy patiently nursed the youngster back to full health, the gelding developing into the courageous and strong Tasmanian Derby winner on display over the weekend.
“This horse is lucky to be alive let alone winning a Tasmanian Derby,” the Brighton-based Luttrell told TasRacing post-win.
“When I saw this horse after the accident I thought he had no chance of surviving but Stuart and Ruth spent countless hours nursing hi back to health.
“He was in a cast for four months and to be honest if it hadn’t been for their faith and devotion to getting him back to health we wouldn’t be standing here enjoying this win today.”
Luttrell was quietly confident heading into the Derby however after spruiking him as a prospect for the three-year-olds’ classic as early as October last year.
“This horse has shown me so much in his races and on the training track that I was confident about setting him for the Derby,” he said.
“His trackwork in the two weeks leading up to this race has been great and his trackwork rider Christie Burt said the horse had never felt better after he finished his fast work this week.”
Patrick Payne, trainer of credible fourth placegetter Baja Moon, said the daughter of High Chaparral could stay on in the Apple Isle for a shot at the $100,000 Listed Tasmanian Oaks (2100m) at Launceston on February 22.
See below for the full Tasmanian Derby 2015 results.
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2015 Tasmanian Derby Results & Finishing Order
Hobart Race 6 – 06/02/2015
|1||5||GEEGEES CLASSICBOY||John Luttrell||Troy Baker||–||6||57kg||$64.70|
|2||2||SHIRALEE||Gary White||Dean Yendall||1.5L||3||57kg||$3.50F|
|3||3||VALDEZ||Graeme McCulloch & David Keating||Anthony Darmanin||1.9L||4||57kg||$7.80|
|4||10||BAJA MOON||Patrick Payne||Jordan Childs (a)||3.2L||2||55kg||$4.40|
|5||6||DANDY GENT||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Ms Linda Meech||4.5L||7||57kg||$3.90|
|6||4||GEEGEES BARITONE||Leon & Dean Wells||Ismail Toker (a)||5.3L||5||57kg||$15.20|
|7||7||JUST RUN||Dylan Clark||Luke Currie||7.8L||9||57kg||$9.80|
|8||8||MAGNASA||John Blacker||Ms Sigrid Carr (a)||12.1L||1||57kg||$100|
|9||9||ALL WRAPPED UP||Ken & Tanya Hanson||David Pires||21.4L||10||57kg||$29.80|
|10||1||CALAVERA||Barry Campbell||Brendon McCoull||24.7L||8||57kg||$16.20|