John Moore, Hong Kong’s leading trainer and owner of Queensland Derby winner Eagle Way, looks certain to take the three year old gelding back to his Asian base to join his large stable.
Eagle Way was due to join Moore’s Sha Tin operation in January after he won an 1800m three year old race at the Sunshine Coast but Gold Coast trainer and friend Bryan Guy insisted that he could win the Group 1 $600,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm.
“He was going to Hong Kong in January. He had just won an 1800m Open three year old race at the Sunshine Coast,” Guy said.
“I said to John that I think I can win the Queensland Derby with him.”
Moore listened to Guy and left the More Than Ready gelding with Guy and with Tommy Berry in the saddle, Eagle Way was able to make Guy’s prediction come true.
“He will be offered to my clients and seeing he went one better than Werther he is coming to be very popular,” Moore said.
“I don’t usually own horses but that was very exciting.”
Werther ran second in last year’s Queensland Derby and ended up in Moore’s Hong Kong stable and went on to win the Group 1 HK$18m The BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) and the Group 1 HK$20m Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin.
While Guy was very excited to have trained the winner of the Queensland Derby, he is very disappointing to see him leave his stable.
“It will be disappointing to see him go but we got a Derby with him,” Guy said
Eagle Way’s win in the Queensland Derby gave Guy a winner in all three Group 1s that are run on Queensland’s most prestigous race day during the Brisbane Winter Carnival over his training career.
Guy trained All Our Mob to win the 1994 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) and then the next year prepared two year old Ravarda to win the Castlemaine Classic (1600m) which has been renamed the J J Atkins.
“I have won the three major races on that day now and it is a great thrill even though it is over plenty of years,” Guy said.
“Especially to win the Derby. It is a little bit of prestige sort of thing the Derby anywhere, in any State and to win that was something special.”
Eagle Way had put in a blinding trial for the Queensland Derby at his previous run when a fast finishing second to Mackintosh in the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben on May 28.
That run filled Guy with confidence and the leading Gold Coast trained said that Eagle Way went into the Queensland with a trouble free preparation.
“I was really confident in the horse because he had a trouble free prep going into it. He never had one thing go wrong with the whole preparation,” Guy said.
“He just kept getting stronger and stronger. And I knew once we got onto a bigger track like Eagle Farm that you would see the real Eagle Way.”
“He was flying home at Doomben coming from second last, third last on the corner.”
“But once he got to those bigger track I knew he would be very hard to beat.”
The Queensland Derby was Eagle Way’s fourth win from thirteen starts and took his prizemoney earnings to over $500,000.