He’s All Go headlines 2024 New Zealand Derby

Pictured: He’s All Go is the short-priced favourite for the New Zealand Derby on Thursday night at Cambridge.

All roads lead to Cambridge Raceway this Thursday evening, where an enthralling card of greyhound racing is on offer with four Group race finals being decided, headlined by a superb field who will contest the Group 1 2024 New Zealand Derby Final.

Four fast-paced 457m heats have brought together an outstanding field of restricted age male greyhounds for this Group 1 event.

The rising chasing star He’s All Go ($1.35 and $1.08 – TAB NZ Final Final) will start as the hottest New Zealand Derby race favourite ever seen. He rocketed through his heat assignment, recording a searing 25.20.      

The Cole kennels are chasing their fifth New Zealand Derby training success and are odds-on to achieve that distinction with the electric He’s All Go, who will be sighted wearing the white racing vest.

“He’s All Go is the quickest dog this country has seen – only Little Mother ($377,751 in prizemoney) would be the only other dog who could go with him. He has pace and strength, as seen by the way he comes away from his rivals.

“He’s come through his heat really good, and it doesn’t matter what he draws, although you have to remember he’s still only a puppy,” advised Brendon Cole, who also added, “His sister Big Time Lauren is just as smart – she has super ability.”

The Cole-trained Big Time Joker ($14 and $3.50) had to endure a ballot before his place in the decider was confirmed. He dead heated for second in his heat, and he will take his place in the final from trap-two.

“That was a massive run from him after being impeded. He is a nice young dog, who is a place chance at best. He has pulled up okay from his heat,” said Cole.  

The Matt Roberts-prepared Claws In Zorro ($5 and $1.85) produced a slick 25.31 heat gallop and he will poised to capitalise on any mistake the hot favourite might make.

“I was really rapt with him, especially with his time. I feel there’s a wee bit more improvement in him, although it will come down to his start. Box 5 isn’t ideal for him, therefore box manners will be key.

“His recovery from his heat run has been good and he’s as good as gold. It will be exciting to see him and He’s All Go going to war early,” said Roberts, who has recently unleashed a serious former Victorian chaser Chief Dribble, who flew over the Addington 520m trip last Friday in a slick 29.66.

Kennelmate Claws In Sparky ($16 and $3.80) was gallant when he led the vain chase home behind the low-flying He’s All Go when winding up 10.25 lengths behind him. Again, Roberts is disappointed with his trap-seven draw.

“Yes, I was really pleased with his heat run – we threw him into the heats and he raced really good to make the final. His race will boil down to what he does from the boxes. He’s not as good as his brother, although running top four isn’t out of reach. He has pulled up good and he’s ready to go,” confirmed Roberts.

It’s a Canterbury dominated New Zealand Derby final in terms of numbers with six finalists, as Ashley Bradshaw presented Mitcham Tim ($18 and $4) to stylishly take out the first heat in 25.75. 

“I was absolutely stoked with his heat race, with it being his first look at the track up there. We were encouraged to go after he won on the similar Invercargill track two races ago (in a meeting best 25.85 457m time).

“Drawing (4) between the two favourites has made it tough for him – fingers crossed. He has bounced back very well – he’s very well-travelled,” said Bradshaw.

And Mitcham Tim’s litter brother Mitcham Scott ($31 and $5), who is prepared by Jonathan McInerney, maintained the Canterbury theme when he prevailed in his heat, clocking 25.96.

“Yes, he went bloody good, surprising me a wee bit. I’m very proud of him making the final. He was fresh going into his heat and he’s bounced back alright.

“His draw (8) isn’t ideal for him, although it’s better than him drawing the middle boxes. Hopefully he can get himself forward early and whip around the outside of them and keep going,” advised McInerney, who added that it was his son Blake who encouraged Mitcham Scott to be nominated for the race.

“It’s been good to send Blake up there – it’s a learning curve for him and he has handled it (travelling) great.”

The Goldstar Racing team are excited about the future racing prospects for Goldstar Mostert ($10 and $2.80). He confirmed those thoughts via his sound two-length heat second to Mitcham Tim.

“It was a good run by him considering it was his first look at the track up there. He will be improved with that experience. He’s a good dog who came through his race in top shape. He’s drawn good (1) and he can be right in it if he jumps,” informed Riley Evans. 

Who’s Jealous ($13 and $3.50) stretched out stylishly during the run home for his 6.75 length heat second to Claws In Zorro.

His conditioner Garry Cleeve informs us, “Getting him through is a big plus, although I feel he’s chasing place money such is the strength of the field. I would have preferred a better draw (6); however, he has pulled up good and he’s ready to return.”

The New Zealand Derby is Race 11 at Cambridge on Thursday night and is timed to go at 7:55pm.


By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 13 March 2024

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