KIWI raider Jon Snow has taken out the Group One Australian Derby in workman-like fashion after staying on from the front of the field.
The three-year-old looked like it was running out of steam in the latter stages of the race, but powered through to the line to salute and return +650 at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Harper’s Choice claimed second to deliver a massive $8.80 place return for Sportsbet.com.au customers, while Hardam ($9.20 Crownbet.com.au) plugged on brilliantly to round out the placings.
Jockey Damian Lane said Jon Snow responded brilliantly, initially to settle just off the speed and secondly to find a kick when it needed it most.
“Credit to the horse. When I switched him off he settled beautifully and when I switched him back on at the 600m he came up under me nicely,” Lane said.
“It was just perfect. It was almost a replica of last week. Jason Collet rated the leader perfectly and I was able to just sit a length off and when I switched him back on at the 600m he was all business from there.”
Winning trainer Andrew Forsman said Jon Snow pulled up brilliantly from its last start victory at Rosehill 21 days ago.
“He had won so well,” Forseman said.
“He just bounced through the run and his work on Thursday morning was brilliant. He pulled up well. Everything has gone so well since he came over here.”
Kiwi compatriot and short-priced favourite Gingernuts loomed up ominously at the 400m mark but failed to find the extra effort to make up ground on the leaders.
Jockey Opie Bosson said the horse took a few hits as the field entered the straight which hampered Gingernuts’ ability to close the gap on the leaders.
“It is hard to make up ground today,” Bosson lamented.
He got back, got a few bumps along the top which put him on the wrong leg and took the stuffing out of him a bit but he fought on okay.”
It was the lesser favoured New Zealander that got the win however, but looking over the form lines it was not the biggest surprise of the day.
Jon Snow placed well in the NZ Derby, and won its last start at Rosehill against high quality opposition.
Stable representative Dom Zame said the team was “reasonably confident” heading into the group one race, and admitted the team was buoyed by the position of Jon Snow as the race unfolded.
“Absolutely exhilarating, absolutely brilliant,” Zame said.
“We were reasonably confident, he ate up very well and he was very relaxed, just a magic horse.”
“When he managed to get into that prominent position, we knew he was going to be a fighting chance.”