Paua has muscle for Victorian Derby

12:06 PM 06 Feb 2014 NZDT
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Paua Fella
Motor Smoken and Paua Fella in a heat of the Victorian Derby

If there has been one horse post-draw punters have been willing to discard totalling it would be the horse from the far west of the state – Paua Fella.

Trained by Kevin Brough at Heywood, the Artistic Fella gelding continues to defy the odds and will line up in his first Group 1 ever in the VHRSC Victoria Derby.

And when he has to take on the big guns in the form of Barry Purdon and Belinda and Luke McCarthy, there is little wonder why the South Australian Derby winner has drifted from $41 to $61 with TAB fixed odds.

But Brough won’t be giving up hope just yet, even if thinks didn’t quite pan out his way with the barriers.

“We were very happy with the way he went in the heat, from the draw we didn’t think he would get in, we thought he might have to do too much work but the way it panned out I was really happy,” Brough said.

“He just seems to be one of those horses that keep improving with every run and he is just taking the next step each time which helps when you start to get into this sort of class.

 “We could have done with a better barrier but we’ll just be hoping to slot in somewhere with a nice run. We are just happy to be there, if he gets the right run into things we’ll be hoping he can run into it.”

Underrated at every turn, Paua Fella has started at $37, $17 and $20 in his last three starts with his worst effort a fast-finishing second behind Motor Smoken in last week’s heat.

It might not be the last punters see of the three-year-old either with Brough weighing up his options following the race.

“He’s always shown a bit at home but he’s been a bit headstrong, he pulls really hard at home but now at the races he is starting to settle down a bit which is helping him,” he said.

“We’re debating on giving him a bit of a let up and then aim him at the Vicbred and the Breeders Crown; he’s eligible for both so we will see how he goes this weekend.

“He’s still not filled out properly; he’s a very tall horse so I’d say after another spell he will turn into a really nice horse.”

The VHRSC Victoria Derby will be run at 10pm as the last leg of the Quaddie and Race 8 on the card.

by Blake Redden

Harness Racing Victoria

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