Breaking the hoodoo of favourites in the time-honoured staying classic for three-year-olds, Mick Price’s bred-to-stay colt Tarzino became just the second top fancy in 10 years to salute for the punters with a runaway win in the Victoria Derby 2015.
Easing favourite out from $2.40 to $2.90, the son of Tavistock put the writing on the wall with a fast-finishing third in the Moonee Valley Vase on Cox Plate Day last Saturday.
Living up to his pedigree, the progressive young stayer backed up a week later and relished the step up in distance becoming the first punters’ pick to win the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria
Derby (2500m) since Efficient (2006).
Things didn’t go right for him two back when seventh in the Caulfield Guineas over a mile, but over the 2500m in the ultimate staying race for the three-year-old gallopers on the opening Melbourne Cup Carnival meeting it was a far better result.
Having run second – sixth in the Derby with his other runners over the years, Price was finally able to take out the VRC Derby with a horse he rates as a top weight-for-age hope over 2000m as a four-year-old next year.
The John O’Shea-trained Etymology ridden by James McDonald was the first to bounce out in a capacity Victoria Derby field before the stablemate Shards, coming off a Vase second at Moonee Valley, moved around to settle just behind the early frontrunner Palace Tycoon.
The Phillip Stokes-trained Adelaide visitor Colonel Custer was taken up by Craig Williams to briefly steal the lead before Tommy Berry ripped right around the outside mid-race with roughie shot Iron Boss who took up the front running setting a genuine pace in the Derby.
At the 1400m Tarzino was racing a bit keen, but was still getting a good run with Newitt sitting just off the pace in a ferociously run edition of the Group 1.
The field began to bunch as the final turn approached, Red Alto going up to take the challenge to the front runners with one of the best-backed in the line-up Lizard Island also coming with a run to join in at the top of the straight.
Tarzino ($3.28 through Ladbrokes.com.au at Best Tote or SP + 20%) got out early right up the outside, racing up to lead a long way out.
Proving a dour stayer, he broke away and flew home to beat home last start Norman Robinson Stakes third placed New Approach colt Etymology ($13) by two lengths.
In a photo for third place the Perth raider Kia Ora Koutou ($6.50) ran the final placing to finish the Victoria Derby Trifecta, franking his 2200m winning form from back home in his first interstate and maiden black-type start.
It was a massive Victoria Derby result for Newitt in his sole ride of the day, Tarzino putting them away after getting his mount into the clear when needed with enough room to run down the straight and show his dominance.
“He’s outstanding,” Newitt said of the horse connections were recently offered a million dollars for pre-Derby success.
“He’s just an out and out stayer and he’s got class written all over him.
“He just gave me the perfect ride today. What a wonderful horse.
“To be able to win one of the majors, to win a big staying race, especially for Mick, it’s pretty emotional.”
Price was also thrilled post-win, admitting he was a little nervous when Newitt had the horse out in the clear early in the straight.
“It panned out pretty good,” he said.
“I was a little bit nervous, he pulled for the first half of the race.
“Then at the top of the straight, he was going too good and hit the front too early.
“He was too strong though and from in front a long way out, I just think he’s a really good horse with a lot of scope.
“He’ll be a grouse horse in the autumn and I think he’ll make a true weight-for-age, 2000m horse.
“As a four-year-old he’ll be fantastic.
“He’s a beautiful colt and deserved his win. He was the best horse in the race.”
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2015 Victoria Derby Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 7 – 31/10/2010
|1||7||TARZINO (NZ)||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||–||10||55.5kg||$2.90F|
|2||9||ETYMOLOGY||John O’Shea||James McDonald||2L||9||55.5kg||$13|
|3||3||KIA ORA KOUTOU||Adam Durrant||Joseph Azzopardi||6.5L||1||55.5kg||$6.50|
|4||15||RED ALTO||Brent Stanley||Opie Bosson||6.7L||2||55.5kg||$101|
|5||13||PAY UP BRO||John Moloney||Brenton Avdulla||11.7L||14||55.5kg||$20|
|6||14||COLONEL CUSTER (NZ)||Phillip Stokes||Craig Williams||12.7L||13||55.5kg||$61|
|7||12||SCADDEN’S RUN||Frankie Stockdale||Jim Cassidy||15.7L||8||55.5kg||$101|
|8||1||LIZARD ISLAND||Pat Hyland||Blake Shinn||16.45L||3||55.5kg||$8|
|9||2||SHARDS||John O’Shea||Hugh Bowman||16.85L||11||55.5kg||$12|
|10||11||PALACE TYCOON||Peter G Moody||Daniel Stackhouse||20.85L||7||55.5kg||$51|
|11||8||GET THE PICTURE||Stuart Webb||Damien Oliver||25.85L||5||55.5kg||$9|
|12||4||AYERS ROCK||Shawn Mathrick||Darren Gauci||26.25L||12||55.5kg||$61|
|13||10||JADEER||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||28.5L||4||55.5kg||$26|
|14||6||EXTRA CHOICE (NZ)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Ben Melham||36.5L||16||55.5kg||$21|
|15||5||MAN OF CHOICE||Luke Price||Sam Clipperton||39L||15||55.5kg||$31|
|16||16||IRON BOSS||Mark Kavanagh||Tommy Berry||99.9L||6||55.5kg||$61|
|–||17e||BULLISH STOCK (NZ)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damian Lane||–||0||–||–|