Imamenace earned a reputation as a giant-killer and a giant when he won the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings’ trotting final recently at Tabcorp Park Melton.
The Peter Cormican-trained gelding, which stands over 17 hands high, started cricket-score odds before upstaging Spidergrace and Asdenro over 2240m.
It was an amazing feat to win a Group 1 that night, as that run was only Imamenace’s second visit to the racetrack.
On Sunday he will contest the Seelite Windows and Doors Victoria Trotters Derby over 2690m at Maryborough, hoping to pull off another upset at start number three.
Grant Campbell replaces Imamenace’s usual driver, Greg Sugars, who has elected to drive his father’s trotter Illawong Helios.
Cormican, who trains out of Arcadia, was visibly shocked and thrilled after his gelding’s last-start success.
“This is the first time I’ve won a Group 1 and I’m going to make the most of it,” he said moments after the win.
Speaking on Thursday, Cormican said he was sure Imamenace would not disappoint on Sunday.
“We’re going to be the fourth, fifth or sixth horse picked again but we’re just happy to be in the race,” he said.
“He did a super job to win that last race but geez, it’s a big ask to win this at his third start.”
Asked to compare Imamenace’s trackwork this time compared to before his last-start success, Cormican said it was “on a par”.
“He had a good hit-out this morning. He’ll have a bit of a break after this race because he’s not entered in the Breeders Crown.
“We’re not going to rush him.”
Despite the wide draw (gate seven) on Sunday, Cormican said the horse was likely to push forward early.
“We’ll probably come out and have a bit of a look,” he said. “We just don’t want him on the fence.”
Our Twentyten opened favourite for the Derby, which is scheduled to run at 3.18pm, with filly Claudys Princess tightening in from $3.60 into $3 early with fixed-odds betting.
Imamenace eased from $12 to $15 overnight on Wednesday.
By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)