Morning Briefing

New Zealand Latest

James shoots for sixth Derby win

Co-trainer Roger James will launch a three-pronged assault on tomorrow’s New Zealand Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) as he tries to win Ellerslie’s blue riband for the sixth time. Star filly Two Illicit (Jimmy Choux) heads the trio following her seven and a half-length Waikato Guineas (Gr 2, 2000m) success and she will be joined by stablemates Reggiewood (Redwood) and Monlula (He’s Remarkable). “She’s done everything right. She’s a fit filly and I can’t fault her,” James, who trains in partnership with Robert Wellwood, said of Two Illicit. “She relaxes beautifully in her races. Her first run over ground (in the Royal Stakes) really showed she could stay because she was asked the question when Vinnie (Colgan, jockey) went forward at the half-mile and she kicked again at the 200 (metres). She’s by a horse (2011 Derby winner Jimmy Choux) that got 2400 metres no problem so everything says the trip shouldn’t be a problem.”


Superior victory for debutant

Six-year-old gelding Superiority (Snitzel) took a long time to see a racecourse, but the patience afforded to him by Cambridge trainer Trevor Da Cruz was rewarded yesterday when he won by six and a half lengths on debut at Pukekohe. Injury-plagued throughout his career having won barrier trials in New Zealand before being shipped to Hong Kong, Superiority returned to New Zealand 18 months ago and made the long wait worthwhile with a comfortable success under Craig Grylls. “He is one I have thought highly of ever since he was a baby when I bought him,” Da Cruz said. “I was really sad to see him go to Hong Kong. He has taken a while for me to nurse him back to where he is. I am very happy with him today.”