New Zealand based trainer Nigel Tiley has revealed that he is keen to target the 2015 Victoria Derby with promising stayer Ragnaar.
Ragnaar made his first public appearance with a fourth place finish at Te Awamutu on October 14 last year and Tiley said that since that time he has considered the son of Roc De Cambes an ideal candidate for the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) that will be held at Flemington on October 31.
The two-year-old showed that he was ready for his racing debut when he took out a barrier trial at Avondale on March 31 and he hit the line strongly to finish second behind Massa Lu at Avondale on May 8.
Ragnaar did enough in his first race to convince Tiley that he was deserving of a start at black type level and he once again savaged the line to finish third behind Secret Spirit and Get That Jive in the Listed Great Northern Foal Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie on May 23.
“He will be nominated for the VRC Derby and that has always been the intention, ever since he first came into the stable as a younger horse,” Tiley told The New Zealand Racing Desk.
“He’s a horse that wants to stay and I wouldn’t be surprised if Brighton does as well.”
Brighton is another rising three-year that Tiley believes will be able to get over a longer trip as an older horse and he has superior form to Ragnaar at this point of their racing careers.
Brighton made his racing debut with a fourth place finish behind Princess Athena in the Brighter Carpets Maiden (1200m) at Avondale on March 25 and he scored his maiden race win with a dominant performance in the Listed Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie on April 18 before he was sent to the spelling paddock after he had very little luck in the Great Northern Foal Stakes.
“I’m tipping that he will come up fairly early in the spring for the three-year-old races,” Tiley said.
Tiley has never previously had a runner in Australia, but he has previously had big race success in New Zealand after he took out the 2014 edition of the Easter Handicap with Albany Reunion.
Recent New Zealand-trained winners of the Victoria Derby include Murray Baker-trained Lion Tamer (2010) and Trent Busuttin-trained Sangster (2011).