Jimmy Choux dominant in New Zealand Derby
Jimmy Choux's trainer may not think he's a true stayer, but he still managed to outstay most of the country's best male three-year-olds in the New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie.
The Thorn Park colt came from midfield for jockey Jonathan Riddell to hit the front 400m out, and found enough in the straight to beat Historian and On The Level in today's $2.2 million classic.
His Hastings trainer John Bary said he was confident the colt could stay 2400m today, but he didn't think it was his best trip.
"He's not a true stayer. He's a miler-sprinter, but $2.2 million was a hell of a reason for us to stay and have a shot," Bary said.
"He'll probably never see 2400m again in his life but he doesn't have to."
Jimmy Choux has been the outstanding male three-year-old this season. He has won six of his last seven starts, including the group one 2000 Guineas at Riccarton in November, and his only failure came when he had a heart fibrillation problem in the Levin Classic in November.
Bary said Jimmy Choux is now set to take on the best three-year-olds in Australia in the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 26.
He is then set to avoid the Australian Derby, instead going back in trip again for the $A2 million Doncaster Handicap (1600m) on April 16, for which he is on the minimum weight of 51kg.
If Jimmy Choux does make the Doncaster he may have to find another jockey as his regular rider Jonathan Riddell, who was a jumps jockey until recent seasons, is unlikely to make 51kg.
"There's been none better than Jonathan all season. He's at the top of his game and he loves the horse as much as we do," Bary said.
"He works hard on his weight, he comes across to Hastings (from Palmerston North) to ride him, and I'm as thrilled for him as I am for the owners."
Jimmy Choux is owned by Richard Wood, who bred the horse himself, and his wife Liz.
Wood also raced the Sydney Cup winner Count Chivas in the 1990s.