Hot Field For NZ Derby Finale

IT’s a hot field that will contest the $46,000 Mike Stent Decorators New Zealand Derby at the Cambridge Raceway on Thursday evening.

Peter Fenemor

16 April 2019

IT’s a hot field that will contest the $46,000 Mike Stent Decorators New Zealand Derby at the Cambridge Raceway on Thursday evening.

Five 457m heats, held in appalling weather conditions last Thursday, decided the finalists.

Easily taking heat time honours for the Group 1 event was the Peter Ferguson prepared Robson who scampered through his assignment in 25.51.

He controlled the pace throughout after hopping away from eight. He is the big winner from the box draw having been allocated the two trap.

“I’m very happy he drawn close to the rail – he’s well placed there. He pulled up great from his heat and I expect a competitive race from him on Thursday,” confirmed Ferguson.

Thrilling Talk opened as the warm NZ Derby favourite for his conditioner Karen Walsh. He duly splashed his way through his heat outing, taking it out in 25.92. It is a concern that this noted railer is required to exit from trap eight here, however his pair of 25.42 457m lead in races says he must be respected here.

Kennel-mate Thrilling Vice is a talented up and coming chaser, who kicked on stoutly for his 2 ¼ length heat second to Bigtime Pete. He is likely to push forward during the early rush from the four trap here.

Bigtime Pete carried the gold racing vest to victory in his heat and he is required to wear the same vest in this decider for his trainer Lisa Cole. The driving rain didn’t hinder him at all as he pinged away from the traps which set up his 26.01 heat win. He has no option but to use those same healthy tactics again here.

‘He’s a hot dog, who has plenty of early pace. He’ll need to pinch a decent break on the others as he tends to tie up over the later stages,” advised Brendon Cole, who added about their other kennel contenders.

“Trojan Hoarse (26.19 heat win) is quick off the traps (six) and he’s like Pete as he struggles late. Bigtime Rod is likely to hold a straight line from trap two. All of our runners are all set to go on Thursday.”

The strong Dave and Jean Fahey kennels will be represented by their 25.98 heat winner. “I thought his heat run was okay although he’ll need some luck from out there (seven),” commented Dave Fahey.

The dual Group 1 winning Diddilee will hop away from the one trap. He finished strongly when he claimed his 1.5 length heat second behind Mr. Matt. There’s no doubting the ability that this Angela Turnwald prepared greyhound owns – it’s going to be a case of what he does at trap rise here.

“He’s going to have to find a couple lengths from his heat performance as others are more nippy than him over the 457m trip. He’s only getting warmed up at the business end over 457m,” suggested his trainers’ partner Paul Freeman.

It’s a star studded Cambridge support card with two Group 2 finals to be decided. Last Thursday the stayers contested two heats over the 747m distance for the Teressa McDonald Cup.

Both heats winners was provided by Craig Roberts for owner Brenden Wheeler. The dual The Meadows 725m winner Dyna Weslyn effortlessly cruised through her heat assignment to clock 42.71s.

Kennelmate Dyna Dave impressed when having his first look at an extreme racing distance when he returned 42.97s for his heat win.

Looking to defend his Group 2 title here is the Walsh prepared Dusty Gambler. He will strip a fitter greyhound for the final after having just returned from a spell where he produced his 7.25 length heat second behind Dyna Weslyn.

Ferguson produced the former Australian first up to stylishly win his heat in the Lois Henley Memorial Trophy in 25.80s.

The biggest challenge he faces in this Group 2 457m decider is likely to be provided from the Walsh kennels who produced the other 25.90s heat winner Thrilling Carly.