It is onto the Queensland Derby back at Doomben Racecourse Saturday week for the young Kiwi galloper Werther who ran the perfect trial for the Group 1 beating a solid field of tough stayers in the Eagle Farm Cup 2015.
There were just six horses in the $250,000 Group 2 Pages Event Equipment Hire Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) on Queensland Oaks Day including four for last year’s winning trainer Chris Waller.
It was the Andrew Campbell-trained New Zealand visitor Werther however who stole the show thanks to a beautiful ride from local Queensland hoop Jim Byrne who picked up the mount on the in-form Tavistock gelding.
“I’m wrapped I’ve ridden him today,” Byrne said after the win.
“It was a really good effort.
“A good win.”
Three-year-old Werther came into the Eagle Farm Cup on the back of four straight top two runs including a Group 2 win over 2100m back home on April 18 and a last start second behind classy WA filly Delicacy in the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) in his Australian debut on May 9.
In Brisbane for the first time Werther jumped from barrier five in the Eagle Farm Cup and Byrne, who knew he was aboard a genuine staying hope, was happy to switch the youngster off and allow him to settle back in the field as Waller’s former Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur led them around.
Once the horses found their positions they stayed where they settled until the closing couple of hundred meters with Tommy Berry and Hawkspur leading from Epingle on the outside.
Werther meanwhile raced out wide dropped in for a nice trail in third behind them letting the others do the hard work, Byrne saving the horse and banking on his powerful late burst.
Fourth was the reigning Eagle Farm Cup winner Moriarty on the rails ahead of two more veteran Waller stablemates Foreteller and I’m Imposing.
Hawkspur held an uncontested lead throughout with Epingle a clear second, Moriarty tucked in on the fence and Werther one away from the fence outside travelling sweetly in fourth.
As they moved towards the home turn Foreteller took off on the outside and the runs came with Moriarty trying to get up the middle with 300m to go and go back-to-back in the Eagle Farm Cup.
It was Werther ($4.60) up on the outside however who stole the show, seven-year-old Clodovil gelding Moriarty ($3.80) trying hard inside the 200m but unable to hold off the fast finishing winner in his perfect Derby trial for next week.
Finishing off the Eagle Farm Cup trifecta in third and a chance to also back-up on Stradbroke Handicap Day next weekend in the $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) was Michael Kent’s seven-year-old Pins mare Epingle ($9) who won the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2200m) at the Gold Coast two back before her Doomben Cup ninth.
Werther is now sure to firm in the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au for the $600,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m) next Saturday, June 6, the Kiwi looking to become the first winner of that three-year-olds classic to come out of the Eagle Farm Cup in over 30 years.
“Originally I thought I’d be a little bit closer,” winning hoop Byrne said.
“I was pretty determined I wanted to go forward.
“He’s got a really good turn of foot and I was really happy with the way he switched off in the run.
“We probably ran sub 34 (seconds) over the closing 300 (metres) so that’s really good.
“I’m looking forward to the Derby.”
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2015 Eagle Farm Cup Results & Finishing Order
Doomben Race 4 – 30/05/2015
|1||7||WERTHER (NZ)||Andrew R Campbell||Jim Byrne||–||5||55.5kg||$4.60|
|2||2||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||2.3L||1||59kg||$3.80F|
|3||6||EPINGLE (NZ)||Michael Kent||Hugh Bowman||2.8L||4||57kg||$9.50|
|4||1||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||3.1L||2||59kg||$4.80|
|5||3||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||3.3L||3||59kg||$9|
|6||4||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||6.1L||6||59kg||$4.60|
|–||5||INDEX LINKED (GB)||Chris Waller||Damian Browne||–||0||–||–|