Prominent owner Mark Wyborn’s long-running quest for Derby glory has a new hope after Haussmann (Pour Moi) ploughed through unsuitable heavy ground to win Saturday’s Listed Graeme Thomson Jewellers Great Northern Foal Stakes at Ellerslie, the home of the New Zealand Derby.
Wyborn and partners, most commonly Robin Peel-Walker (who won the Derby in 1976 with Silver Lad), have invested significantly in a number of blue-blooded youngsters with all of the pedigree and talent required to fulfil that Derby dream.
Wyborn has had several successes along the way, with $250,000 yearling purchase Provocative scoring a brilliant victory in last year’s Queensland Oaks, but the Derby has so far eluded him. Now it could be Haussmann, who cost just $14,000 as a weanling, who carries Wyborn’s hopes into the 2018 classic next March.
Haussmann was bred by Windsor Park Stud and is a son of their Epsom Derby-winning stallion Pour Moi. Windsor Park’s Nelson and Meagan Schick have retained a share in the ownership alongside Wyborn and Peel-Walker.
The gelding is trained in Cambridge by Tony Pike, who previously oversaw the career of Provocative. Pike won the New Zealand Derby in 2016 with Rangipo and has also had Group One success and a VRC Derby placing with another son of Pour Moi, Sacred Elixir.
Haussmann had placed in two of his three starts leading into today’s $50,000 feature, including a last-start second to Ardrossan in the Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre Stakes at Te Rapa.
Rider Vinnie Colgan positioned Haussmann towards the rear of the field in today’s race and was able to prevent a repeat of his habit of over-racing. The front-running favourite So Far Sokool produced a kick at the top of the straight, but Haussmann lengthened stride stylishly in the last 300 metres to wear down that rival and score by half a length.
“He was caught a bit wide from his outside gate, but Vinnie was able to get him to relax well,” Pike said. “He’s had a tendency to over-race, but the fact that he settled well today was a good sign that he’s learning.
“Vinnie gave him a cool ride on a testing track. He wasn’t happy in the conditions, but he found the line really strongly. Hopefully he can go on with it as a three-year-old. The owners are great supporters of the stable, so it’s good to get this result.”