The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The Peter Gelagotis-trained Levendi became the second Tulloch Stakes winner in as many years to back-up and win the Australian Derby defeating this year’s favourite Ace High in a thrilling photo finish on Day 1 of ‘The Championships’.
The well-bred Pierro colt made the line-up for the Group 1 $2 million Australian Derby (2400m) via a victory at Rosehill Gardens last weekend in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m).
Seven days later at Royal Randwick he did what Jon Snow (2017) managed 12 months earlier and franked the Tulloch Stakes form with a win over the mile and a half in the ATC Derby.
Ridden by Mark Zahra from a gun barrier three draw, the Moe-trained bay was settled right back off the pace today travelling around 11th spot throughout as the Australian Derby field was led around by Capital Gain.
Race favourite and winner of the spring’s Group 1 Victorian Derby was the David Payne-trained Ace High, settled sixth in the race for his fifth run of the season just behind the NZ Derby winner Vin De Dance.
Approaching the turn jockey Tye Angland pulled to the outside on Ace High who chimed in on the straight moving up to the front runners and taking the lead.
“Very brave, had a beautiful run through the race, rolled into at the right time, the horse behind us followed us through and got us on the line,” Angland said after the narrow loss.
With 300m left to travel, the market mover Levendi ($11 into $6.50) presented as the big danger and the two drew away from the rest of the field for a brilliant late battle to the line.
The photo Australian Derby result however showed Levendi narrowly defeating the favourite Ace High ($5) in an incredible finish, the winner proving a very tough stayer and denying the runner-up the chance to do the VRC – ATC Derby double for the first time in in 24 years.
“He was travelling well,” an emotional Gelagotis said post-victory.
“When he peeled out, he moved into the race real, real good.
“He was very strong at the top of the straight.”
Rounding out the Australian Derby trifecta in third for Chris Waller was the Rosehill Guineas runner-up last time out, Snitzel colt Tangled ($26).
Levendi and jockey Zahra had to then survive a protest from Ace High and his hoop Angland in the stewards’ room to retain the win.
“He is a beauty, he wanted to pull a little bit in the early parts but he switched off good and I just waited and waited and I knew Ace High would kick strong he is proven over the trip,” Zahra said of Levendi post win.
“I was just waiting and waiting and I couldn’t get in front of him but gee he has a big heart even last week he looms up and was strong late.
“I could feel when we both quickened there was no one else around it was a battle royale and the Gelagotis boys will be going mad I reckon.”
2018 ATC Derby Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 7 – 07/04/2018
|1||6||LEVENDI||Peter Gelagotis||Mark Zahra||–||3||56.5kg||$6|
|2||1||ACE HIGH||David Payne||Tye Angland||0.1L||2||56.5kg||$5EF|
|3||3||TANGLED||Chris Waller||Michael Walker||5.9L||9||56.5kg||$26|
|4||2||VIN DE DANCE (NZ)||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Jason Waddell||6.5L||4||56.5kg||$9|
|5||16||MAIN STAGE (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Blake Shinn||6.8L||10||56.5kg||$26|
|6||8||FURORE (NZ)||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||8.3L||7||56.5kg||$5EF|
|7||4||MONGOLIANCONQUEROR (NZ)||Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards||Opie Bosson||8.7L||6||56.5kg||$12|
|8||15||MONGOLIAN MARSHAL (NZ)||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Craig Williams||9.6L||18||56.5kg||$51|
|9||10||WEATHER WITH YOU||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Jason Collett||10.3L||1||56.5kg||$21|
|10||17||CONDOR||Paul Perry||Craig Newitt||10.6L||13||56.5kg||$151|
|11||13||ENDOWMENT (NZ)||Chris Gibbs||Damien Oliver||14.4L||14||56.5kg||$71|
|12||14||BELFAST||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Kerrin McEvoy||15.3L||15||56.5kg||$14|
|13||12||MISSION HILL||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Damian Lane||15.6L||8||56.5kg||$12|
|14||5||CAPITAL GAIN||Paul Butterworth||Ben Melham||22.3L||12||56.5kg||$101|
|15||9||SALSAMOR (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Zac Purton||23.3L||17||56.5kg||$21|
|16||18||PISSARO||Robbie Laing||Sam Clipperton||30.3L||11||56.5kg||$301|
|17||7||ASTORIA||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||35.8L||5||56.5kg||$21|
|18||11||THE LORD MAYOR (NZ)||Chris Waller||Corey Brown||99L||16||56.5kg||$101|
|–||20e||LOVE WAVES (NZ)||Anthony & Edward Cummings||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||19e||YURALLA BOY||Todd Howlett||–||–||0||–||–|
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