Trainer Murray Baker Captures His Fourth Australian Derby With NZ Bred Jon Snow!
Written on the 3 April 2017
It was another win for New Zealand at the Australian Derby on Saturday when Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman trained 3yo colt Jon Snow captured the $2 million prize.
The $65,000 purchased colt reigned supreme over Harper's Choice who slogged it out on the home straight with Jon Snow winning by 3/4 lengths and Hardham finishing by a short head away in third place.
The Derby was jockey Damian Lane's first Group One win in Sydney and one to savour, with his father in the crowd.
"It's a great thrill to win a Derby on such a seasoned horse. I was very lucky to get on him last week and happy to stick with him today. He was too good," said Lane.
"What a great trainer Murray Baker has been for many years now and Andrew Forsman does a great job as well, so to be able to have a ride for them, let alone win two good races for them in two weeks, is a privilege.
"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.
"It was just perfect. It was almost a replica of last week. Jason Collett (Harper's Choice) 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."
Baker has now won four of the past 10 Derby's with Mongolian Khan in 2015, Dundeel in 2013 and Nom Du Jeu in 2008.
Baker decided to stay behind in NZ, leaving the duties to training partner Andrew Forsman.
"It's been a great ride with this horse for the owners. It's been quite a journey," he said.
"Murray knows how to get them fit and ready and just glad we pulled it off.
"He had won so well, 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. A big thank you to Bjorn and all the staff. They have done a great job looking after him."
Favourite to win, New Zealand Derby and Rosehill Guineas winner Gingernuts, didn't make the cut, coming in fifth this time. Jockey, Opie Bosson said the conditions just didn't suit but attemped to make his presence known at the 600m mark.
"It is hard to make up ground today. 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," he said.
Jon Snow finished third to Gingernuts in the New Zealand Derby in March.
The plan was to run Jon Snow in last week's Tulloch Stakes (2000m), which he won to get him ready for the 2400 metre race on Saturday. The plan certainly worked out, with Jon Snow now clocking up his third win from twelve starts.
(Photo: Damian Lane riding Jon Snow to victory in the Australian Derby - photo credit: Bradley Photography)