Phill Cataldo’s eye for young thoroughbred talent has again been emphasised by the emergence of Vin De Dance.
The Cambridge-based bloodstock agent was persistent in his pursuit of Saturday’s Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) winner when the gelding was initially offered at the 2016 Ready to Run Sale.
“He went through Jamie Beatson’s draft, he liked him as did Paul Pertab who did a lot of the early work preparing him for the sale, and I saw him at the breeze-ups and looked at him three or four times at Karaka,” Cataldo said.
“I said to OTI’s Terry Henderson that we should be getting him and bought him (for $70,000) half an hour after he was passed in.
“Luigi Muollo owned him and he retained a share and Terry syndicated the rest and 14 of the owners were at Ellerslie on Saturday.
“Luigi’s family and my family have been lifelong friends and I also buy horses for his brother Tony, who lives in Sydney.
“Vin De Dance is a typically big Kiwi stayer and I’ve always been a fan of Roc de Cambes, he was a great stayer himself and I think he’s an under-rated stallion.”
The three-year-old’s success gave trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman their second New Zealand Derby following Mongolian Khan’s triumph in 2016 and yet another significant addition to Cataldo’s CV.
“He’s my 22nd individual Group One winner, and they’ve won 28 Group One races, and my third New Zealand Derby winner,” he said.
“I bought Military Move (victorious in 2010) and Gingernuts as a weanling. To go back to back is a huge thrill and I’m really looking forward to Vin De Dance going on to Sydney for the Derby there.
“It was a great buzz at Ellerslie and I was also rapt for Jason Waddell, it’s a race he’s always wanted to win and it was a great ride. The horse was the biggest and strongest stayer in the race with the best jockey and the best trainers.”
Waddell will continue his association with Vin De Dance in the Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m).