Derby tilt confirmed for Two Illicit

Two Illicit
Group 1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) contender Two Illicit. Photo: Trish Dunell

Exciting three-year-old filly Two Illicit will contest the Group 1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie later this month after pulling up well from her victory in the Group 2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) at Te Rapa on Saturday.

“She has come through the run really well,” said Robert Wellwood, who trains the filly in partnership with Roger James. “It was a credit to Te Rapa, they had the track in great order. She has trotted up nice and freely and is just having a nice quiet week this week. “She will head to the Derby, we just have to have a chat with the owners regarding the late nomination payment. It is our full intention to head to the Derby next.”

Two Illicit had been in fine form prior to her Waikato Guineas victory, winning three of her five starts, including the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial 3YO (1500m) and Group 2 Royal Stakes (2000m), however, it was her dominant 7-1/2 length victory last weekend that sealed her Derby bid.

Wellwood is excited about Two Illicit’s prospects in the race and said it will be a nervous couple of weeks ahead of the February 29 contest. “It’s very exciting, I keep pinching myself,” he said. “It’s a pretty important few weeks ahead to make sure we get her there in tip-top form. “Winning any race, let alone a Derby, you need a lot of luck to go your way and hopefully we can tick every box in our corner and the luck can come also.”