Derby Heats Highlight Another Big Week of Racing

Four trainers who have all had previous race success in the last ten years will face off against each other in this Thursday’s Mike Stent Decorators New Zealand Derby. Jean and Dave Fahey who are represented by the speedy Canya Moneymaker, took out the 2010 edition with Tatty Bogle as the outsider of the field, defeating kennel mates Winsome Opawa and Fifth edition. Craig Roberts who has two solid chances in the final with the impressive Leonard Bale and Uthor Bale took out the 2015 running of the NZ Derby with the champion Dyna Vikkers before he took out the NZ Cup in the same year.

Lisa Cole who prepares race favourite Bigtime Cooper and Allegro Curtis has tasted back to back success with Storm Warning in 2017 and the Multiple Group race winner Bigtime Paddy in 2018. Karen Walsh has the biggest hand in this Thursday’s final with Thrilling Baxter, Thrilling Morris, and Thrilling Bruce took the 2014 Derby out with Thrilling Butcha for owner Andrew (Butch) Castles. One of these trainers will again experience the thrill of winning this coveted race in a few days time.


Ozzie for Daniel Lane was expected by many to put himself into the final, but missing the jump would prove costly as the local Walsh trained runners would take full advantage. Thrilling Morris had gone winless in eleven prior starts but took a flyer from the ace box setting up a strong run to the finish winning in the second-best overall time of 25.39s. Kennel mate Thrilling Bruce ran on strongly to finish second in a time of 25.69s securing a place in the final as one of the fastest runners up. Ozzie would run on for fourth but his uncharacteristic slow start put pay to any chance of making the final.


Heat two saw Allegro Curtis take the early ascendency from his rivals leading up in a 18.81s. Uthor Bale got himself into a very handy third early and stalked the leader the whole way using his strength on the back of his distance racing to finish over the top of Curtis late in the piece. His 25.63s was a solid time on-track debut and he will be ready to pounce in the final if there is jostling up front. Allegro Curtis was brave as the pace maker and deserves his place in the final as one of the fastest seconds.


Thrilling Baxter’s incredible run of form continued in heat four as he demonstrated his ability to win without getting his own way. Quincy Bale for Craig Roberts captured the early lead, providing a challenge for Thrilling Baxter as he sat on his outside for the whole race covering extra distance. In the final 50 metres, Baxter showed his class passing Quincy Bale attaining victory in a 25.68s. Baxter has been a star post lockdown and thoroughly deserves his final spot.


The fourth heat saw two of the standouts paired against each other as Bigtime Cooper and Leonard Bale would give a sneak peek of a potential final match up. As expected Bigtime Cooper exploded from box three putting the race to bed very early in the piece. His 25.37s set the benchmark time-wise, as Leonard Bale had to manoeuvre around a couple of runners after being caught in the midfield pack early. Leonard Bales 25.60s was the fastest second-place run and was a very good effort considering where he was in the running.


Australian import Canya Moneymaker provides Jean and Dave Fahey with their sole runner for this year's New Zealand Derby after his all the way victory in heat five. Canya Moneymaker took off from box four and was never headed despite a late charge from Bigtime Harley who made things interesting short of the post. The overall time of 25.75s was the slowest qualifying time but one does feel there is further improvement in this talented dog after just his third race in New Zealand and first look at Cambridge Raceway.

Written by Shane Kendall

Posted on 07 September 2020

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