Darren McDonald has made it two group races in a week after taking out Cannington’s Group Two WA Derby with Tiggerlong Amigo. The white and black dog missed the start, but quickly outclassed his WA rivals when he took the outside route to run down the leading Full Of Beans in a time of 30.51.
“I’m very pleased with my kennels this week!” Trainer Darren McDonald explained.
“It was a different race last night because he had pressure and a check to overcome, so the time was irrelevant to me. I was very happy with his run last night.”
The son of Cosmic Chief – Tiggerlong Petal made the Group Two Derby his ninth career win from 18 starts, stretching his prizemoney to over $58,000. The 32kg dog jumped as the $1.80 favourite, with Ben Abercrombie’s Full Of Beans starting second favourite at $3.90.
“He was suited by the box because the four dog wanted the rails. My only concern was the eight and it did come across me at the start. In the end he was still able to get around them and it turned out he was just too good on the night.”
Tiggerlong Amigo wasn’t the only one of McDonald’s chasers to come away with a victory at Cannington on Saturday night, with derby heat participant Where’s The Surf winning impressively in the second event on the card in a personal best time of 30.49.
“Both of the dogs runs were good last night.”
“Where’s The Surf improved on his run from last week. For him it got down to the boxes and luck in running. That’s why I always try to bring two or three dogs over. I always have a contingency plan because if one of them doesn’t get through, or something like what happened to Keybow last week occurs, there is still a chance I get into the race.”
In the past year McDonald has successfully conquered two of WA’s biggest races, the Group One Perth Cup with Keybow and now the Group Two Derby.
“As long as they can run 500 metres fairly strongly I love bringing them over here.”
Much to the relief of WA trainers, McDonald doesn’t have a bitch for the upcoming Group Two Oaks and his next venture back to the West looks to be the Nationals.
“I’m on the lookout for a bitch for the Oaks.”
“Hopefully there is three or four I can run in the Victorian part of the Nationals. Sweet It Is and Keybow will be my two best chances if they make it through to Perth, because they have both seen the track.”
McDonald is looking at taking Tiggerlong Amigo to Sydney for the Peter Mosman heats if he pulls up sound from his Derby win. He is also hoping that his star chaser Keybow will have recovered in time for the heats after splitting his webbing prior to the Derby heats.
“The Peter Mosman is in about two weeks time. If Tiggerlong Amigo pulls up well I will take him up and trial him. Hopefully Keybow is right for me to take him up there as well.”
For now, Darren McDonald will go back to Victoria a very happy man with two group races under his belt in the last week.