Superstar three-year old Tarzino has gifted both Mick Price and Craig Newitt their first Victorian Derby win with the classy stayer proving too strong for competitors in Saturday’s 2500m Group 1 at Flemington.
Tarzino was favourite when the field jumped in Saturday’s feature race and that favouritism was vindicated when the galloper, piloted by Newitt, stormed to a strong win ahead of Godolphin runner Etymology and West Australian visitor Kia Ora Koutou.
After settling midfield outside of Kia Ora Koutou for the majority of the run it was at the 800 metre mark that Newitt brought Tarzino to the outside of the field as the runners bunched up, before challenging leaders Lizard Island and Red Alto as they entered the home straight.
Newitt then went for home on the favourite shortly after the 400 metre mark, leaving it a battle for the minors as Etymology ran into a strong second with Red Alto and Kia Ora Koutou fighting it out for third place.
The Victorian-trained colt, who was having his sixth start in Saturday’s $1.5m three year-old classic, proved to be simply too good for his rivals. Cruising to a two length victory ahead of Etymology, with a further gap of four and half lengths between the second placegetter and other runners.
The Victoria Derby was another Group 1 victory for the Price and Newitt combination which has been a long-standing and successful partnership in Australian racing for many years with Price being a long-time supporter of his stable jockey.
An emotional Craig Newitt spoke about how much the win meant to him in a post-race interview, stating how he wished his late father could have been there.
“I’m just really sad the old man couldn’t be here today,” Newitt said.
“I’ve got three little fellas and my beautiful wife waiting for me to come back to the scales, so it’s pretty emotional.”
Saturday’s victory also proved to be a huge monkey off the back of trainer Mick Price, after having finished sixth, fifth, fourth, third and second in previous Derby’s without being able to capture the major prize – until today. The win was also an emotional one for Price, with him and his wife, Caroline, part-owning the galloper along with others.
Price believes his colt has a big future and with last year’s winner of the Derby, Preferment, tackling this year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup, there’s certainly no reason as to why Tarzino can’t do the same in 2016.