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Derby Glory For Johnny Get Angry (NZ)

Johnny Get Angry (NZ) strong in the Victoria Derby. Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

For the fifth time in just over a decade, a Karaka graduate has triumphed in Australia’s oldest classic – the A$2 million Group One AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington.

Johnny Get Angry (NZ) (Tavistock), who was bought for $50,000 from Bradbury Park’s Book 1 draft at Karaka 2019, joined a recent New Zealand Bloodstock Victoria Derby honour roll that also features Monaco Consul (NZ) (High Chaparral), Sangster (NZ) (Savabeel), Preferment (NZ) (Zabeel) and Tarzino (NZ) (Tavistock).

Ridden handily in the first half of the field by Lachlan King, Johnny Get Angry surged into contention at the top of the straight, and then the world-renowned New Zealand stamina kicked in.

Johnny Get Angry fought off fellow Karaka graduates Young Werther (NZ) (Tavistock) and Let’s Karaka Deel (NZ) (Dundeel) and surged clear, scoring by a length from the fast-finishing Hit the Shot (Dundeel).

Owned and trained by former champion AFL coach Denis Pagan, Johnny Get Angry has now earned more than A$1.26 million in stakes – almost 27 times his purchase price. While this was his first win, he had previously placed in the Group Two Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) and Listed Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m).

“This is 10 times better than winning the AFL Grand Final at the minute, I can tell you,” Pagan said. “I’m lost for words. It’s just such an amazing feeling.

“I’ve hardly trained a winner, and I’ve got a Group One! It’s something special. I’d never in a million years thought it would happen, and he’s done it.

"You dream about it, and that's all I've thought about for the last two months – getting him here. I just wanted to get him into the Derby and he's won it. It's just starting to sink in now, I can't believe it.

“I just love the Tavistock horses, and I just try to get as many as I can out of Zabeel or Galileo mares. Troy Corstens is the best in the world. He sourced the horse for me – how he got him for $50,000, I'll never know. He did a terrific job. He's got all my horses, and it's another Group One winner he's picked out.”

It was also a dream result for King, a 22-year-old apprentice jockey who has struggled for opportunities this year.

“I wasn’t going too good six months ago, but this horse has kept me getting up in the morning,” he said. “Just everything went to plan, it’s a fairy tale. I just can’t believe it.”

Young Werther added to the big result for Karaka graduates, and Cambridge Stud’s late stallion Tavistock (NZ), with a fighting third in the Derby in only the third start of his career. The $140,000 Book 1 purchase has earned A$230,750 in stakes.

The countdown is already underway for Karaka 2021, which will again showcase the very best New Zealand thoroughbreds. Book 1 will run across three days from Sunday 24 January, followed immediately by Book 2 from Wednesday 27 through to Thursday 28 January.

Late sire Tavistock is also represented by 10 catalogued lots in the upcoming 2020 NZB Ready to Run Sale of two-year-olds, to be held at Karaka on 18 & 19 November.

© Scoop Media

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