At Richmond on Saturday night the club conducted its flagship event of the year the Group Two World 4 Pets Richmond Derby.
Race favourite and new track record holder Loathsome ($1.90) assumed the lead not long after box rise, but in a major surprise, outsider Decembrist positioned much closer than usual, looking a major threat heading through the first turn.
Trained by leading Victorian mentor Bob Douglas, Decembrist ($40.30) came with his trademark finish down the centre of the track turning for home, claiming Derby glory by three and three quarters of a length in a slick 30.50.
Loathsome held onto second with promising youngster Fancy Dean filling ($9.00) third.
Decembrist has been a great money spinner for Tasmanian connections Peter and June Phillips particular while in the care of Bob Douglas with his stake earnings nearing $100,000.
“He’s just a great little chaser, once he got a position right behind the favourite he was going to be hard to beat. He is a strong 600 dog and he was always going to back up from the Tuesday” Douglas said.
Bob Douglas has a long association with the breed having trained Decembrist’s dam World’s Finest for the Phillips’. She won nine races in Victoria including six at Sandown and the Meadows winning over both the 500 and 600 metre distances.
Douglas will be back in Sydney for a crack at the Easter Egg a race he won with Carlisle Jack in 2002.
In the other two features on Richmond’s signature race night, favourite Adipra took out the Frank Kennedy Memorial (618m) in 35.64s while Loud Mouse won the Betfair Cup (717m) narrowly in 42.01s.
After the placings the field finished in the following order 4th McQueen ($17.00), 5th November Tribute ($12.80), 6th Glen Abbey Man ($7.30) 7th Twitter Me ($46.30) and White Knuckles ($4.40).
Decembrist is raced by Peter & June Phillips and trained by Bob Douglas at Heathcote in Victoria. He is a Black Dog whelped March 2008 by Big Daddy Cool from World’s Finest (World Title x Foxy Fine) he has raced 59 times for 23 wins and 16 placings and with the $25,000 first prize for the Derby his overall stake earnings went to $92,245.
Listed below is the Richmond Derby honour roll first run up the straight 320 yards in 1957 it then changed to a grass circle over 537 metres in 1974. In a major revamp the club put down a new loam surface and track re-shape in 1999 and the Derby is now run over the new distance of 535 metres.
Richmond Derby Honour Roll
1957 Lilac’s Luck, 1958 Some Clue, 1959 Sudden Glory, 1960 Little Budgie, 1961 Dodger’s Luck, 1962 Gold Packet, 1963 Flying Myobb, 1964 King Ming, 1965 Top Mitch, 1966 African Ballet, 1967 Fleetfoot Joe, 1968 Red Park, 1969 -1973 “Not Held” 1974 Roomatic, 1975 Ainslie Boy 1976 Wade Park, 1977 Woodburn Wonder, 1978 Leon Kuley, 1979 Major Willa, 1980 Papuana, 1981 Timeaclog, 1982 Peter Glider 1983 Opal Columbus, 1984 Bindall’s Hope / Ceamy Koco (DH) 1985 Rapid Supreme, 1986 Tiger Country, 1987 Buka Sunset, 1988 Maggiore, 1989 Rumpus Brandi, 1990 Whisky Bale, 1991 Kedo’s Image, 1992 Tallest Peer, 1993 National Leader, 1994 Wiljarra, 1995 Fabian, 1996 Antique Vision, 1997 Spanish Master, 1998 Murphy’s Benji, 1999 Royal Pilgrim, 2000 Stately Bird, 2001 Zingalong Red, 2002 Tourist Dan, 2003 Cyrus The Virus, 2004 Spring Secret, 2005 Gozo Master, 2006 Cool Matt, 2007 Laurie’s Tigers, 2008 Mandagery Man, 2009 Cool Flight, 2010 Bogie Brave, 2011 Decembrist.