Thirlmere trainer Mark Gatt was ecstatic to have notched up his second group win of the year with his promising pup Red Road. The son of Collision and Mystic Pace was brilliant in the Group Two Richmond Derby final on Saturday night, with Gatt and owner Edwin Kingswell collecting a cool $40,000 for their efforts.
Exiting from box one, the winner of eleven races stepped beautifully from the inside alley and led throughout in a smart time of 30.34.
“It was good to see him begin that well. I kept him fresh hoping he would come out like that and he did and now I’m just hoping he can jump like that consistently”, said Gatt.
Runner up Evil Punk lost no admirers, cutting the winning margin to just three quarters of a length, stamping his authority as one of the in-form chasers in New South Wales.
“To be honest it didn’t surprise me he got that close to my dog (Red Road) at the end. He’s in really good form at the moment and I was worried about him heading into the race.”
Gatt also lined up three other finalists, with Ritza Raider finishing fourth, Boyce Road fifth and Ritza Ryder sixth.
“Ritza Raider ran a good race; he just didn’t have the pace to go with them. Boyce Road got into a heap of trouble and never got himself into contention and Ritza Ryder was a little disappointing, but it was still a good effort that he made the final.”
All four runners from the final, plus Gatt’s other kennel stars Gradence and Ritza Hattie, will head to the Glebe circuit next month to contest the $250,000 Group One Golden Easter Egg series.
“All four from the final, plus as many I have that I can get right for the race I’ll put in the heats. It will be a very competitive race, but hopefully I get some luck and have some in the final.”
Gatt’s two-time Group winning bitch Ritza Hattie is on the comeback trail after suffering a hip injury prior to the Group One Australia Cup heats last month. The daughter of Bombastic Shiraz and Midnight Flare will be a force to reckoned with after clocking a flying 29.79 personal best at headquarters back in November of last year.