26 February 2024
Favreau on song for Derby
on song for Derby
9 April 2021
Randwick trainer John Sargent is hoping he can win his home Derby for the first time on Saturday with Kiwi-bred gelding Favreau.
The son of Tavistock recorded two consecutive wins this preparation before running fourth in the Gr.2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill last Saturday and Sargent was happy enough with his efforts off a sedate pace.
“I thought he would just about win that but after Rosehill I was scratching my head a bit,” Sargent told RSN927.
“They didn’t go that hard, they were 19 lengths slower than the Vinery (Gr.1, 2000m), albeit they went hard in the Vinery.
“We maybe rode him a little out of his comfort zone. But he got a beautiful ride by James McDonald, there were no excuses.
“We got in the one-one, got buffeted a bit in the straight. He is a horse who likes to get out and going. He is going to get plenty of chance on Saturday because he has drawn 16 of 16, he is not going to be cluttered up there.”
Sargent is confident his charge will see out the distance and said the track will likely come back from its Heavy9 rating on Thursday.
“Getting out to 2400m, past that 2000m, is a different style of race,” he said.
“He is bred to get it and his work this morning was very good. I think he has tightened up a lot since Saturday.
“This track will come back. It is beautiful and hot, and the sun is out. It will come back to a 6 or 7 without a doubt. I will just leave it up to Tommy (Berry, jockey) what he will do in the race, but he obviously won’t be on the speed.”
Sargent is hoping history repeats itself on Saturday, with the Tulloch Stakes proving to be the form lead-in race to the Derby over the last few years.
“Let’s hope the tradition of the last five years, where the winner has come out of the Tulloch, continues,” he said.
“It will be down to the last 200m this race, the strongest stayer will survive.
“It will be interesting, but he is definitely right in there with a very good chance.”
Favreau was purchased out of Windsor Park Stud’s 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft for $230,000 by Sargent, in partnership with DGR Thoroughbreds and Aquis Farm.
– NZ Racing Desk