The Country Derby was launched in the late thirties by the JP Stratton led WA Trotting Association as a means of fostering and promoting trotting breeding and racing outside of the Perth metropolitan area.
A couple of years were missed during the second World War and Saturday night’s $30,000 Country Derby at Bunbury will be the 70th running of the time-honoured 3yo classic.
Outstanding young reinsman Justin Prentice, who has driven three of the past six winners of the Country Derby in Trunkey Daydream (2008), Parsons Dragon (2010) and Extreme Dreams (2013), will be trying to land his first Country Derby as a trainer when he takes the reins behind his own runner Mista Rush.
Waroona trainer Bob Mellsop will be chasing his third Country Derby success in the past four years with the smart Bettors Delight gelding Bettor Rules. Mellsop won the race in 2011 with Touch Of Tango and in 2012 with Say It Now.
Andrew De Campo has a record six wins as a driver in the Country Derby with three of the five trained by his late father Ray, two that he has trained himself in Boston Strangler (2001) and Cobalt Jake (2004) and Norms Daughter for trainer Neil Lloyd. De Campo will have two runners on Saturday night in the fillies Maddy White and Im Bella Jay.
David Young trains and drives the pole-marker The Real Nadal and he will be out to add to his family’s outstanding record in the Country Derby.
His father Ron Young droved Packed Safely to victory in 2009 for his trainer mother Karen Young.
His twin brothers Kim (4) and Shane Young (1) have driven five winners of the Country Derby between them.By Alan Parker