Veteran 10-year-old Ihtsahymn entered the...
Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young look to have unearthed two genuine 2017 Victoria Derby contenders with stablemates Main Stage and Johnny Vinko running first and third respectively at Flemington in the Listed $120,000 UCI Stakes (1800m).
The now Cranbourne-based Kiwi trainers were full of confidence with their eventual UCI Stakes winner Main Stage pre-race on Turnbull Stakes Day, the Reliable Man gelding having worked extremely well throughout the week.
Second at Flemington narrowly last time out at the same track / distance, Main Stage went to another level in front of the big crowd there to see Winx in the Group 1.
Things didn’t exactly go to plan for jockey Michael Walker from the jump, who was forced to settle back last on Main Stage giving the horse plenty to run down.
“The plan was to go forward,” Walker admitted post-win.
“He’s a playboy though and was playing around in the gates.
“I used my own initiative and rode him quietly.”
The hoop didn’t panic and allowed his mount to settle at the tail as the well-supported Darren Weir-trained Canford Cliffs colt Cliff’s Edge took up front-running.
A last start winner over the mile at Caulfield, Cliff’s Edge got things his way in the lead with John Allen aboard the pacesetter looking to go all-the-way in the traditional lead-up to the Group 1 $1.5 million Victoria Derby (2500m) in a month’s time.
Cliff’s Edge quickened the pace of the race midrace heading towards the 850m, retaining his spot in the lead around the home corner and into the famous straight.
Allen was really going for home and with 200m to go, Cliff’s Edge looked the winner despite the on-pace chasers.
Arriving on the scene late though was Main Stage who was flashed home down the outside, wearing down the tiring leader.
Main Stage grabbed Cliff’s Edge, who had a good margin a furlong out, really winding-up beautifully down the Flemington straight and looking to have Derby written all over him.
“Jeez he pulled me into the straight,” Walker said.
“He’s a serious horse.
“Bring on the Derby…he’ll eat it [the 2500m].
“I can ride him forward, ride him back, ride him anywhere. He’s hard to beat.”
The UCI Stakes was the up-and-coming stayer’s fifth career start and after coming from a clear last, all honours went to the winner.
Young confirmed next-up plans to give Main Stage his final Victoria Derby lead-up on Caulfield Cup Day in the Group 3 $350,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic (2000m).
“It was a very impressive win today, and even when things went completely pear-shaped, Michael didn’t panic,” co-trainer Young said.
“He got up today…he really put his head down. He’s a good horse.
“He’ll head into the Caulfield Classic on Caulfield Cup Day on October 21 and then into the Derby.
“Super proud of him.”
Main Stage firmed in from $13 to $5 in the pre-field Victoria Derby odds at Ladbrokes.com.au after the win, making now the time to back him before his price comes in further.
The fellow Busuttin & Young-trained Johnny Vinko meanwhile ran a blinder for third, also a chance for the Victoria Derby back at the track during the Melbourne Cup Carnival on November 4.
“He just keeps stepping up too that horse,” Young said of the $21 Derby hope.
“I wouldn’t rule him out of the Derby yet either.
“He’s got a lot of improvement in him too.
“We’ve got two realistic Derby chances so we can’t complain.”
To back the Busuttin & Young-trained stablemates in Victoria Derby 2017 betting head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
2017 UCI Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 3 – 07/10/2017
|1||9||MAIN STAGE (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Michael Walker||–||13||56kg||$8.50|
|2||1||CLIFF’S EDGE||Darren Weir||John Allen||0.3L||3||57kg||$5.50|
|3||14||JOHNNY VINKO (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Stephen Baster||2.05L||4||56kg||$21|
|4||6||ANIMALIA||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||2.35L||1||56kg||$4.20F|
|5||7||ABERRO||Matt Laurie||Ben Melham||3.6L||2||56kg||$15|
|6||3||ESHTIRAAK||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Damien Oliver||4.85L||6||56kg||$5.50|
|7||11||WEATHER WITH YOU||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Damian Lane||5.05L||10||56kg||$9.50|
|8||10||IL DIVO||Grahame Begg||Jake Noonan||6.55L||14||56kg||$101|
|9||4||SUNQUEST||Steve Richards||Dwayne Dunn||7.8L||5||56kg||$12|
|10||15||BASANITE||Robbie Laing||Michael Dee||8.8L||7||56kg||$151|
|11||5||PADRAIG (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Ben Allen (a)||9L||12||56kg||$31|
|12||8||GIVE||John Moloney||Patrick Moloney||10.75L||11||56kg||$31|
|13||2||SILENT COMMAND||Nick Smart||Ms Linda Meech||15.25L||9||57kg||$31|
|14||12||INTO RIO (NZ)||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Ben Thompson (a)||17.75L||8||56kg||$41|
|–||16||CORAL COAST||Stuart Webb||Ryan Maloney||–||0||–||–|
|–||13||CIRCOMO||Anthony Freedman||Mark Zahra||–||0||–||–|
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