Rohan Mows Down WA Derby Field
The Vaughn Sigley trained Blackfriars colt Rohan proved the dominant force in the Group Two $400,000 WATC Derby (2400m), his fourth victory from 10 starts.
After finishing third two weeks ago in the Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m) following his win in the Listed J C Roberts Quality (1800m), Rohan was one of the favourites to emulate his previous racing pattern of sitting near the back of the field to storm home down the Ascot straight which is exactly what he did again today. Rohan (3c Blackfriars – Voltage Pak by Carry A Smile) won his maiden at Bunbury on New Year’s Day prior to a slashing fourth behind Night War, Flag Officer and Bliss Street in the Magic Millions 3YO Trophy. ”We’ve never pressured him and he’s done everything right”, Sigley reportedly said in the lead-up to the Derby.
The long range plan aimed at the Derby for the colt capped off the biggest success for Sigley, rider Glenn Smith and his owners.
Rohan is raced by Glen Kettlewell, his wife Jan and Warren Allen and was a $61,000 buy from Durham Lodge at the 2010 Perth Magic Millions yearling sale. His older sister Wynyard Hall is the dam of this year’s 2YO Perth Magic Millions and LR Gimcrack Stakes winner Darlington Abbey (Stratum), also bred by Durham Lodge. Second dam Ever Ready (Consenting) was the champion filly of her generation in Perth winning the G2 WA Guineas in 1985 before travelling east to win the G2 Chirnside Stakes at Caulfield. Keith Biggs bought Rohan’s yearling brother for $120,000 at the Perth Magic Millions in February earlier in the year. Blackfriars progeny have now earned more than $3.5 million for the season placing him in an unbeatable lead in the WA sires premiership.
Ethiopia Rewards WA Owner/Breeder in ATC Derby
Ethiopia pounced on the leader to get up in the last stride to reward West Australian owner/breeder Trevor Delroy in the S1,500,000 Group I ATC Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick.
The victory was also more than sweet for Victorian trainer Pat Carey as the trainer/owner partnership had previously experienced their biggest race day achievement last year when Cedarburg won the Group 1 The BMW but sadly he dropped dead of a heart attack in August last year, just as he was coming into a tilt at the major Spring features.
Ethiopia and Cedarburg were both bred by Delroy at his Wyadup Valley Farm nursery in the West’s famous Margaret River region and both are sons of former VRC Derby winner Helenus, while Delroy is the manager of the partnership that owns the stallion.
“Cedarburg ran in the AJC Derby and he got galloped on in the race and we thought we had a horse then,” Carey said. “There is a lot of comparisons between him and Cedarberg.”
Ethiopia (outside) reels in Polish Knight (inside) – Photo: Steve Hart.
Ethiopia was having just his fourth race day start in the Derby and became the first horse to break his maiden in the ATC Australian Derby since Silver Shark achieved the feat in 1970.
Carey paid tribute to the patience of Delroy, who insisted on a gentle approach with the stayer. Carey said the approach would continue into the gelding’s four-year-old season with a warning that a start in the big spring cups is not a foregone conclusion.
“A lot of the planning goes to Trevor Delroy, who owns the horse, he’s the one that wanted to hold him back and I support that strategy,” Carey said.
“It’s one (approach) that suits me down to the ground. We have been thinking about this for a fair while. He could be a bit special this horse. If you look at him, he is a lovely big scopey sort of horse.
Pat Carey and Ethiopia – Photo: Steve Hart.
“Hopefully you have got a career that goes beyond the spring and into the future and that’s paramount for us.
“Spring is very tough on four-year-olds. We see an attrition rate every year of four-year-olds. We don’t care how long we have got to wait. We will see what happens in the meantime.”