Classy Chris Waller-trained stayer Preferment has broken his maiden in the best way possible at Flemington this afternoon, producing an exceptional final straight sprint to take out the featured Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m).
Jumping from the gates well, the Zabeel colt settled into a perfect rhythm well within the pack; allowing early leaders Royal Standing, Hampton Court and The Mighty Jrod to set only a fair tempo leading onto the back straight.
Pressing forward rounding the final bend onto the famous Flemington straight, Preferment looked to be a touch too wide to make the up distance on runaway leaders Nozomi and Magicool but locked in a fierce pace battle with Bondeiger; poking a nose clear in to last 50m to deliver Waller a second Group 1 victory for the day having earlier taken out the Coolmore Stud Stakes with Brazen Beau.
Champion jockey Damien Oliver also secured a race-to-race Group 1 double in winning the Victoria Derby with Preferment having steered Happy Trails to victory in the Mackinnon Stakes and believes the three-year-old is every chance of developing into a legitimate 2015 Melbourne Cup contender.
“I didn’t have much luck on him getting in but strangely enough probably not the worst place to be for this horse,” Oliver said after crossing the line of Preferment.
“Coming around the turn I just wanted to wait and see if I could suck one out in front of me and fortunately Magicool came out and I was able to get a little bit of a tack off him into the race with a little bit of cover from that wind.
“Very brave in the straight – he could be back here next year on the Tuesday; he’s that type of horse, he’s a real stayer and I think he’s only going to get better.”
Trainer Chris Waller was thrilled with Preferment’s performance for victory in the 2014 Victoria Derby and echoed Oliver’s sentiments of future preparations targeted at the Melbourne Cup.
“The writing was on the wall last start, he’s by the great stallion Zabeel and a great rider aboard – he beat me in the last race by a nose and as they say if you can’t be them, you join them,” Waller said with a chuckle.
“There wasn’t much cover – turning for home he had cover which is important as they’re coming into that breeze I feel and he’s just a genuine stayer so he’s wound up a long way from home and got the result.
“Melbourne Cups are the next step I guess and it’s good to know you’ve got a horse good enough to be at that level.”
Adding a first race win to a career which has also included four minor places over seven competitive starts, Preferment will return to the paddock ahead of a 2015 Autumn Carnival preparation.
Punters who backed Preferment to win the Victoria Derby at generous $9 odds at Ladbrokes.com.au and had signed up for a Ladbrokes Card will already have access to their winnings!
2014 Victoria Derby Results
|1||13||PREFERMENT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||–||6||55.5kg||$8.50|
|2||9||BONDEIGER||Danny O’Brien||James Winks||0.2L||1||55.5kg||$11|
|3||7||NOZOMI||Anthony Freedman||Dwayne Dunn||1.45L||13||55.5kg||$41|
|4||8||LIGHT UP MANHATTAN||Ciaron Maher||Mark Zahra||1.65L||7||55.5kg||$26|
|5||5||MAGICOOL||Mark Kavanagh||Glen Boss||3.65L||15||55.5kg||$16|
|6||15||SAN PADRE||Michael Kent||Tommy Berry||5.9L||2||55.5kg||$26|
|7||12||GOULDIAN||John O’Shea||James McDonald||6.1L||3||55.5kg||$41|
|8||1||HAMPTON COURT||Gai Waterhouse||Kerrin McEvoy||6.6L||11||55.5kg||$2.45F|
|9||14||CUBAN FIGHTER||Robbie Laing||Vlad Duric||8.35L||9||55.5kg||$61|
|10||11||ATMOSPHERE (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Joao Moreira||8.55L||4||55.5kg||$10|
|11||4||FIREHOUSE ROCK||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Nicholas Hall||9.55L||10||55.5kg||$31|
|12||2||MOONOVERMANHATTAN||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||13.3L||12||55.5kg||$7|
|13||16||THE MIGHTY JROD (NZ)||Robbie Laing||Dean Yendall||13.5L||16||55.5kg||$101|
|14||6||LOTION||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||17.25L||5||55.5kg||$151|
|15||10||ROYAL STANDING||Brent Stanley||Damian Lane||17.45L||14||55.5kg||$51|
|16||3||PRENTICE||Simon Foster||Luke Nolen||52.45L||8||55.5kg||$201|