Premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller kicked off Derby Day at Flemington today with the best possible result with the lightly raced Kermadec winning the Group 3 $200,000 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) for the three year olds.
Even though Kermadec was only having his third start in a race the Teofilo colt was well in commission in the betting ring and was sent out a $6 chance.
Kermadec was a beaten favourite last start when second over 1600m at Randwick after bungling the start but Waller’s said his barrier manners today were first class and that helped to down the well supported Stratum Star ($6) and Manhattan Avenue ($15).
“It was good to see our horse do everything right today,’ Waller said.
“He jumped well, last start he missed the start, Blake Shinn had him travelling beautifully. In a race on day as Derby Day it all comes down to getting a good ride, there is no room for error on Derby Day and Blake nailed it.”
Waller was glad to get the first winner on Derby Day and settle the nerves in what is going to be busy day for the stable who will be saddling up the second favourite Preferment later in the day in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m).
“It’s like facing the West Indies fast bowlers. You do feel the nerves, we have a big team and we have a lot of chances. But with that you have to perform.”
Blake Shinn was able to camp just behind the leaders after jumping from barrier two and was always going to have the last shot at the Darren Weir trained Stratum Star who had a torrid run three wide after coming out of gate nine in the fourteen horses field.
Brad Rawiller let Stratum Star slide to the front at the 300m but Shinn was quick to have Kermadec poised to strike and proved too strong in the run to the line to score by a neck with Manhattan Avenue running on for third, a further two and three quarter lengths away.
Favourite Azkadellia ($3.80), ridden by Hong Kong based Joao Moreira, was always well back in the field and failed to figure in the finish and wound up in tenth spot.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Wandjina was a $7 chance before he was scratched at the barriers.