Maiden Of The Week

Johnny Get Angry (NZ)

Johnny Get Angry (NZ)
3 g Tavistock – Luminova by Zabeel
O: Denis Pagan
B: Greenwich Stud Pty Ltd
T: Denis Pagan
S: 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale V: Bradbury Park P: Malua Racing / Flemington Bloodstock, NZ$50,000
W: Victoria Derby (Gr 1, 2500m), October 31, Flemington

There were so many angles to the Victoria Derby (Gr 1, 2500m) win of Johnny Get Angry (3 g Tavistock – Luminova by Zabeel) that the fact he was a maiden taking out the blue-riband was almost overlooked.

In the last three decades, Fire Oak (Oak Ridge), Redding (Nassipour) and Preferment (Zabeel) had taken the Derby as a maiden, with the latter two developing into genuine weight-for-age performers.

It would be a victory for racing if Johnny Get Angry followed in their footsteps given he is owned and trained by two-time AFL premiership-winning coach Denis Pagan, one of Melbourne’s most popular sporting figures.

Pagan had only trained one winner before taking the Derby: Frankie Two Angels (Medaglia d’Oro) at Sandown in July.

Sent out as a $21 chance, having finished a fast-finishing yet distant third in the Moonee Valley Vase (Gr 2, 2040m), Johnny Get Angry looked the Derby winner a long way from home as Lachlan King cruised up on the gelding.

At the line, he had a length to spare over Hit The Shot (Dundeel) with lightly raced favourite Young Werther (Tavistock) a short neck away in third.

“I’ve hardly trained a winner and I’ve got a Group 1!” Pagan said. “I’ve never been emotional, I’ve been potting Chris Waller for sooking up but how well am I going?

“It was something special, I’d never in a million years thought it would happen and he’s done it. You dream about it and that’s all I’ve thought about for the last two months, getting him here, I just wanted to get him into the Derby and he’s won it. It’s just starting to sink in now, I can’t believe it.”

Bred by Greg Perry’s Greenwich Stud, Johnny Get Angry was offered for sale at the 2019 Karaka National Yearling Sale with a NZ$60,000 reserve, but was snapped up for NZ$50,000 by Malua Racing and Flemington Bloodstock.

Johnny Get Angry is the third foal to race – and the first winner – out of the Zabeel (Sir Tristram) mare Luminova, who was placed in maidens on both sides of the Tasman.

Second dam Pavlova (Singspiel) won the JRA Cup (Listed, 2040m) and was fourth to Allow (Rahy) in the Queensland Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m) in 2006.

The family also features Group 2 winner Fubu (Last Tycoon) and South Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2500m) hero Markham (Salieri), while further back, it is the family of champion sire Shirley Heights (Mill Reef).

Luminova has a yearling colt by Cambridge Stud shuttler Almanzor (Wootton Bassett), who the farm announced would be sold at Karaka next year, while she lost a Reliable Man (Dalakhani) foal this year; she visited Reliable Man again in 2020.

Johnny Get Angry’s sire Tavistock (Montjeu) died at Cambridge Stud last year, aged 14.