Day At The Track

Derby draws a stellar field of fillies to rattle the boys

05:30 PM 03 Aug 2017 NZST
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Garshaway upstages President Roydon in a 3YO trot

They've come from all over for a swing at Sunday’s Seelite Windows and Doors Victoria Trotters Derby, determined to salute in front of a boisterous crowd.

New Zealand trainer Cran Dalgety’s trotter Chevron Express and fellow Kiwi President Roydon, who is now in Kerryn Manning’s stable, will bring some international flair when they have an almighty crack at the $75,000 feature.

Chevron Express is among a fearsome group of fillies who have amassed for the three-year-old feature, who equate for seven of the 13 Derby entrants and include Anton Golino’s Cardigan-based trio Dance Craze, Une Belle Allure and Nieta.

For Manning, Sunday presents a chance to capture one of the few pieces of silverware that has thus far escaped her grasp.

President Roydon has spent six weeks with team Manning, having previously raced with Mark Purdon’s all conquering All Stars team over the Tasman, where only highly-rated Enghien prevented him breaking through at Group 1 level.

The Great Western trainer-driver held the reins as the gelding made his Australian debut at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night, when President Roydon led and did the bulk of the work only to be picked off by Garshaway in the dying stages.

“He’s a funny horse,” Manning said of President Roydon, who has drawn gate two for Sunday’s Group 1. “He’s not the most wonderful to drive, he’s a bit green and awkward at times, but he tries really hard.”

Manning said he should improve from his Australian debut, when he “over raced a little bit in front and was found wanting a little in the last 50”.

“He hasn’t had a start for a month and the run would have done him good and he seems to have pulled up well. The distance (2690m) will suit, he’s a strong horse.”

The “good little sit-sprint horse” that whooshed past her was improving Garshaway, Myola-based trainer Graeme McDermott’s gelding who has drawn gate 13.

He will be driven by New South Wales’ Leigh Sutton, who took the steer after Manning was unavailable due to her commitment with President Roydon and saluted at Melton at $19.60 on the TAB.

“I come down with my trotter (last Friday) so they offered me the drive and said if he goes all right I can drive him in the Derby,” Sutton said. “It will be nice to have a drive in a Group 1 race.”

The Victoria Trotters Derby takes place at 3.54pm.



Michael Howard

(HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

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