Day At The Track

Girl Power in the $150,000 Queensland Derby

12:02 AM 17 Jul 2015 NZST
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Can Fight For Glory add a Derby trophy to her bulging CV
Oaks Queen; Can Fight For Glory add a Derby trophy to her bulging CV when she tackles the boys this weekend in the Gr.1 Qld Derby at Albion Park
Dan Costello Photo

The old adage goes something like this, a good colt will always beat a good filly. Well, harness racing history shows that’s not quite right.

However, a scan through the record books proves that victories for the fillies against the boys are few and far between.

In particular, at the elite level because the colts just seem to be that little bit stronger, both physically and mentally.

And looking back at the great names that have tasted success in the Queensland Derby, there is only one name representing the fairer sex.

In 2002, New Zealand filly Oaxaca Lass wrote her name into the record books by becoming the first filly to win the Queensland Derby by defeating Mode Of Action while fellow filly Sparkling Melody finished third.

Another great scene at Albion Park occurred back in 1992 when Misty Maiden downed an outstanding group of colts to claim the Australian Derby.

The victory was the final ever race start for Misty Maiden before embarking on a hugely successful broodmare career highlighted by her freakish son, Lombo Pocket Watch, a three times Derby winner himself.

The incomparable Tailamade Lombo was also successful in an Australian Derby, scoring in 1998 at Harold Park in Sydney.

Star Perth Filly Whitbys Miss Penny showed her class downing the boys in the 1991 West Australian Derby at Gloucester Park for winning reinsman Rod Chambers.

Another great filly that conquered the boys was the classy Kiwi lass Elect To Live, a winner of the 2002 Australian Derby at Launceston in Tasmania.

Already this season, two fillies have beaten the boys in Derby features with the Andy Gath trained C C Chevron claiming the South Australia Derby at Globe Derby while the Shane Tritton prepared Miss Riviera Belle won the Newcastle Derby.

And that trend could continue this weekend, the top three finishers from last week’s Queensland Oaks all back-up in the Gr.1 $150,000 Queensland Derby.

The trio of fillies all ooze class spearheaded by four times Oaks winner Fight For Glory plus Morton Plains and Ameretto.

Fight For Glory, a member of the all-conquering All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen looked sensational scoring a stylish victory last week in the Oaks but fared poorly with a second-line draw.

Her outstanding turn of speed will give her a shot at etching her name into the record books.

Shelbourne trainer Larry Eastman is duly represented in the Derby, the astute horseman prepares nominal favourite Menin Gate plus the classy Morton Plains, a runner-up to Fight For Glory last week.

Her latest effort followed her maiden Gr.1 Vicbred Super Series Final victory at TABCORP Park, Melton.

Champion reinsman Gavin Lang is booked to take the drive.

Like Fight For Glory, Morton Plains also must overcome a second-line draw.

The eye-catching performance from the Oaks last week came from the Bathurst filly Ameretto for her trainer/driver Ashlee Siejka who finished a fast finishing third.

After settling well back from her second-line draw, the Million Dollar Cam filly stormed down the outside to finish a close-up third.

Ameretto will start from gate three this weekend.

Only time will tell if another filly will add their name to this elusive list.

by Chris Barsby

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