Premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller continued his great run of Group 1 victories with Hawkspur taking out the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm today.
Waller took his Group 1 tally to eight for the season and is set to be the nation’s number one Group 1 trainer for the first time.
Hawkspur made it a Winter Carnival hat trick repeating the performance of last year’s Queensland Derby winner Brambles in winning the Group 3 $125,000 Mittys Rough Habit Plate (2100m) at Eagle Farm on May 11 and the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben on May 25.
Waller was quick to praise the ride of Jim Cassidy who saved plenty of ground rounding the home turn and moved across the heels of the leader Kentaur a from the 350m the Cassidy had the Derby wrapped up.
“When you got riders like Jim Cassidy, it actually relaxes you as the trainer and he’s just a genius,” Waller said
“If he was ever riding better I wish was training then because he makes my job so much easier. Full credit to him, not only today, for getting the horse to win the Rough Habit and the Grand Prix with ten out of ten rides.”
Cassidy was able to overcome a slow start and then positioned Hawkspur in sixth and seventh spot before moving forward coming to the home turn.
Cassidy was able to make it Group 1 win number ninety-eight with his top class ride after being full of confidence before the race.
“I said to the owner that he would win it on his ear and he has won easy,” Cassidy said.
“Great training performance by my mate Chris Waller.”
The Robert Smerdon trained Electric Fusion made ground in the straight to run second with Honorius running home for third.
Queensland oaks winner Gondokoro made some ground in the straight without threatening while favourite Survived had a tough run and wilted over the concluding stages.