Turnbull test for Derby winner

Johnny Get Angry
Johnny Get Angry will contest the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday. Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

Group One winner Johnny Get Angry will continue his path towards the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) when he lines-up in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.

The New Zealand-bred gelding gave his trainer and part-owner Denis Pagan his biggest moment in racing when winning last year’s Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) and the AFL premiership winning coach is pinching himself that he has a Melbourne Cup contender so early on in his training career.

“Johnny Get Angry is a beautiful horse,” Pagan told the TAB Spring Racing Launch.

“He’s pretty much push button. We galloped him this morning, we put blinkers on him, and he did the job for us.

“I realise he’s going to be a “gazillion-to-one” to win the Cup, but I’ve never seen anyone make runs sitting in the grandstand.

“He’s running on Saturday in the Turnbull Stakes, and he’ll be an outsider again.

“I just hope he can improve on his last run and put his best foot forward, give us some confidence because I know he’s not going to get to his best until he gets over 2400, 2600 (metres) and let’s hope he can stay the distance of 3200.

“He’s qualified, we might have a live chance and touch wood nothing happens to him.

“I suspect he might not be as good as some of the superstars, but outsiders have won before, so you’ve just got to roll with the punches.”

Johnny Get Angry is one of 80 horses that remains in contention for the Melbourne Cup after second declarations were taken on Tuesday.

Last year’s winner Twilight Payment is still in the hunt and is in quarantine in Ireland ahead of travelling to Melbourne next week.

Johnny Get Angry was purchased out of Bradbury Park’s 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft for NZD$50,000 by Malua Racing and Flemington Bloodstock.

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