Leading into the 2014 running of the WATC Derby it’s appropriate to reflect on the recent history of the event and what could be a worrying sign for Saturday’s winner given current trends.
Of the last six WATC Derby winners, only one (to this point) has gone on to win another race, which is fascinating given it is the state’s richest three year old event. Mystic Prince ’13, Dreamaway ’12, Chartreux ’10, Markus Maximus ’09 and Grand Journey ’08, all failed to win again following their Derby victories. Rohan in 2012 is the only exception, but although it’s form since has been consistently excellent, it has only managed one win and at the following start in the WAROA Belmont Guineas.
Which brings us to honour a champion and with the benefit of hindsight, marvel in the accomplishments and career of Guyno. Trained by Lou Luciani and ultimately into the partnership with son Dion, Guyno’s career is incredible in reflection.
Initially passed in for $40,000 in 2005, the gelding by O’Reilly x River Century, was eventually sold and transferred to Western Australia, a bargain price as it were, with half-sister Legs winning the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks in 2006.
Defeated in its first race by three lengths, Guyno won the following start over 1400m and still as a two year old. It took to its second preparation with incredible consistency and success, winning the T.J. Smith Trophy, placing in the Aquanita Stakes, Roberts Stakes and Melvista Stakes before entering the WATC Derby as the second favourite behind New Spice. Guyno defeated the Victorian invader Ballack by just under a length to claim its only Group 1 victory.
As an indication to the resilience and sustained brilliance by Guyno, it went on to win another five times after the WATC derby, including the York Stakes (L), Perth Cup (G2), Mornington Cup (LR)and the Lord Reims Stakes (G3). A gallant 12th in the 2008 Melbourne Cup was also another of many highlights right in the middle of its career.
From its maiden victory in 2006 until it’s 8th and final win in the Lord Reims in 2011, Guyno’s victories stretched across an incredible six years, all at the highest level.
Rarely is this seen in horses seemingly so inflexible in particular categories, Jason Whiting rode Guyno for all eight career wins and 15 of its 17 placings. Guyno was ridden 12 times outside of Whiting, for just the two placings, indicating an apparent affinity with Jason Whiting right across its career. Although Guyno spread the eight career wins evenly across distances of 1400m to 2600m, it struggled to carry weight above 56.5kg, being unable to win from its 28 starts above that mark. Guyno only ever ran last once and that was in its final race appearance in the 2012 Tattersall’s Cup.
From being passed in at the sales, to earning a staggering $1,310,650, the racing career of Guyno is something behold, especially given the recent trend of WATC Derby winners.