No Victoria Derby for Make A Memory

04:20 AM 23 Dec 2008 NZDT
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Col Johnstone, owner of Make A Memory. Make A Memory and driver
Col Johnstone, owner of Make A Memory.
Make A Memory and driver - Neville Webberley.

Talented Tasmanian three-year-old pacer Make A Memory is unlikely to head to Melbourne for a crack at the Victoria Derby despite his impressive win in the Prince of Pace (2090m) in Hobart on Sunday night (December 21).

Make A Memory led throughout to defeat the highly promising Gamblers Rustler with the winner's stablemate Babyitsu a distant third.

The gelding's trainer-driver Neville Webberley was upbeat about his charge's prospects but admitted the form of Bonavista Bay that is unbeaten from seven starts in Victoria this season would prove to be a big deterrent for making the trip across Bas Strait.

"I've never been one to shy away from races because of the strength of the opposition but from what I've seen of Bonavista Bay it might well be a case of taking a horse to Victoria for the Derby just to try and run second," Webberley said.

"My horse is going super and there is improvement in him but I reckon Bonavista Bay might improve more by Victoria Derby time so we have decided to take the softer option and stay a home."

"We've got the Tasmanian Derby to aim at and then we run the Australian Derby in out own backyard (at Launceston) so we have a fair bit to aim for without having to leave the state."

"If we do decide to go interstate the hose is paid up for the Breeders Crown series so that could be a possibility," he said.

Make A Memory, by Mach Three from the top-producing mare Marlee Jayne, is owned by her breeder Col Johnstone who was ecstatic after this most recent win.

"It's always nice to win good races and the Prince of Pace is one that we were hoping to win again," Johnstone said.

"Make A Memory is a very nice horse and Neville thinks he has a lot of scope so we'll look forward to the rest of the season in great anticipation," he said.

While the connections of Make A Memory are excited about that horse's future prospects, the trainer of Gamblers Rustler also is expecting big things from his lightly raced three-year-old.

Gamblers Rustler scored impressive wins at his two starts leading up to last Sunday night's assignment and lost no admirers in finishing a game second to Make A Memory.

"I was rapt with my horses run because the tyre on the sulky blew out at the halfway mark," Williams said.

"I probably should have served it up to Neville's horse sooner than I did and I know it's all hypothetical but had a couple of factors in the race been changed then it might have been a different result."

"My horse is still learning and lacks the experience of Make A Memory but from what I've gleaned tonight I'm very much looking forward to our next encounter," Williams said.

Peter STAPLES

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