Day At The Track

Stress Factor claims Derby for Lilley stable

07:30 PM 05 Aug 2018 NZST
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Stress Factor,Harness racing

The stress factor hit fever pitch in the final strides but Brent Lilley’s recent addition held off fast-finishing Kyvalley Finn to claim the Seelite Windows and Doors Victoria Trotters Derby.

Stress Factor delivered Lilley his fourth victory of the day, following earlier Redwood Day success with El Paco, On Fast Forward and Kyvalley Blur, with the Derby winner holding on by a half-head for driver Chris Alford and new owners John Wilkinson, Fred Crews, Bruce Morrison, Denise Morrison, Gary Dowling and Robert Owen.

The syndicate purchased the Majestic Son gelding in June and he went three-from-three with today’s Group 1 triumph at Maryborough.

“Victorian Derbys are always something you aspire to win and to pull it off was great,” Lilley told Trots Vision post-race. “He looked like he was holding them off fairly comfortably but (Kyvalley Finn) come late. We were all pleased the line come up when it did.”

Alford worked to the lead from gate three, with Andy Gath’s polemarker Reils taking leader’s back and his stablemate Scallywag Sam sitting in the breeze, punching a back-straight head wind that had challenged front runners throughout the day.

Despite little pressure on the leader throughout the 2690m long-distance Derby the pace remained honest.

“Probably could have gone a bit slower, but he just wanted to keep rolling along pretty strong,” Alford said.

“They don’t get a chance to race much over 2600m if ever – just today – it’s hard to know if they’re going to finish it off and all of the ones back in the field are in the same boat.

“I thought we were holding on pretty good until about the last 50. (Kyvalley Finn) did rush through really quick but I did think we hung on on the line.”

For Alford the result will ease some of the pain of having his usual drive for this class, Wobelee, sidelined by injury, and Stress Factor appears well poised to deliver more success for connections.

“He was really brave,” Alford said. “He really fought it out well. He did a good job and hopefully he can keep going for the Breeders Crown.”


Michael Howard

for Trots Media

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