Talented three-year-old Werther has completed an ideal lead-in to next weekend’s 2015 Queensland Derby after beating a talent-rich field of Group 1 stayers to the line in the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) at Doomben.
Jumping from the gates well, local hoop Jim Byrne pressed the son of Lord Tavistock forward and settled in prime position on the heels of early leaders Hawkspur and Epingle past the post the first time, who set a fair tempo.
Pushing off the fence over the back straight, Werther found a good rhythm and received a great run in transit alongside the Chris Waller-trained Moriarty.
Rounding onto the final straight in prime position, Werther easily pressed forward to the front of the small field and never appeared in doubt; opening a gap of more than two lengths and hitting the line well clear of Moriarty; Epingle boxing on for third.
Byrne delivered a typically polished ride aboard Werther for success in the Eagle Farm Cup and is hopeful he will retain the ride on the talented three-year-old in next weekend’s Group 1 Queensland Derby.
“It was a good win,” Byrne said after crossing the line.
“Originally I thought I’d be a little bit closer but there was no tempo.
“A couple of Waller’s were pretty certain they wanted to go forward so with the light weight he was going to have a really good turn of foot and sure enough they walked, so only have to do work from the 300m.
“I was really happy with the way he switched off in the run and we probably ran sub-34 over the last 300 so he’s got a really good turn of foot and look forward to the Derby.
“I’m wrapped I’ve ridden him today and will be looking to stitch up the ride in the Derby, that’s for sure.”
Posting several impressive results in his native New Zealand, including a one length win in the Group 2 Championship Stakes (2100m) on April 18th, Werther ran a credible second to standout filly Delicacy in the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 9th and is sure to lead 2015 Queensland Derby betting markets following his win in the Eagle Farm Cup.