The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young’s progressive Dundeel colt Sunsets will press on towards the 2023 Victoria Derby over the Melbourne Cup Carnival after knocking off odds-on favourite Riff Rocket in the Group 3 $200,000 Neds Caulfield Classic (2000m).
One of the early features on the Caulfield Cup Day card, this year’s Neds Classic was set to be taken out by Chris Waller’s dominant last-start Listed Super Impose winner at Flemington Riff Rocket.
The gelding won that 1800m showdown on October 7 by 5.5 lengths, but couldn’t stretch his brilliance out over a furlong further when rolled as the $1.28 top elect in today’s Neds Classic results.
For the fourth year in a row the Super Impose at headquarters proved the form line to follow into the important VRC Derby lead-up, but the punters didn’t come away with the win.
Instead it was the improving Sunsets ($16) who stole the show at double-figures having run 6.45 lengths fourth to Riff Rocket the run before in the Super Impose.
Opie Bosson was aboard that day but it was the horse’s previous hoop, John Allen, back in the saddle for the Group 3 upset.
From barrier eight of eight the plan was always to press on and go forward with Sunsets who did just that, Allen stealing the show setting only a moderate tempo up front.
“We thought we’ve got to push forward…we’re gonna be under pressure a long way out but he stuck on,” co-trainer Young told Racing.com post-race.
“Great ride by Johnny.”
Riff Rockett with James McDonald in the saddle tried his heart out on the straight looking to run down the eventual winner, but just couldn’t get to him in time going down in a narrow loss.
The Peter Moody & Katherine Coleman-trained Gates ($26) meanwhile rounded out the trifecta in a photo for third at big odds with the Frankel colt coming off a maiden win at Sandown.
Young was quick to confirm plans to head to the Group 1 $2 million Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 4 with Sunsets.
“He’ll definitely get further,” she said.
“He’s just the most relaxed colt you’ll come across.
“Don’t you love it when you’ve got a live Derby chance?”
The horse’s other trainer Trent Busuttin enjoyed a win in the Victoria Derby back in 2011 with Sangster, but chases his first in partnership with Young this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Five horses have completed the Caulfield Classic – Victoria Derby double with Polanski (2013) the most recent.
All-in 2023 Victoria Derby odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au have Sunsets at $6 to be the next, with Riff Rocket still early favourite at $3.30 despite his loss today.
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2023 Neds Classic Results & Finishing Order
|1||5||SUNSETS||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||John Allen||7||57kg||$16|
|2||2||RIFF ROCKET||Chris Waller||James McDonald||0.1L||1||57kg||$1.28F|
|3||6||GATES||Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman||Damian Lane||2.6L||5||57kg||$26|
|4||3||APULIA||Ben, Will & JD Hayes||Michael Dee||2.7L||6||57kg||$17|
|5||8||TOKYO RUN (NZ)||Dean Mirfin||Opie Bosson||6.45L||4||57kg||$71|
|6||4||GOLD BULLION (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Blake Shinn||6.65L||3||57kg||$6|
|7||7||TO BE FRANK (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Mark Zahra||8.9L||2||57kg||$21|
|1||SUNSOURCE||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Ben Melham||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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