Collar could be Derby bound after easy win

Next week’s Caulfield Guineas is a doubt but the Victoria Derby is very much on the program for Lloyd Williams-owned three-year-old Collar (NZ) (O’Reilly).

Having only his third race start, the son of O’Reilly (Last Tycoon) and 1999 Caulfield Cup placegetter Laebeel (NZ) (Zabeel)was dominant as he raced away to a 1-1/4 length-win in Sunday’s Listed Westfield Doncaster Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.

Nick Hall rode the lightly raced gelding who made it look like a track gallop as he sat second, a length outside the leader First Course (Snitzel), before drawing clear of that horse to win as he liked by 1-1/4 lengths.

Country-trained Hell’s Kitchen (Choisir) finished strongly on the outside from last to finish third.

Collar (NZ) won his race debut at Swan Hill in a two-year-old June event that has become famous for producing other debut winners such as half brothers Elvstroem (Danehill) (2003) and Haradasun (Fusaichi Pegasus) (2006).

Elvstroem went on to win the 2003 Victoria Derby and hopes are Collar (NZ) can emulate the feat.

Nick Williams, who part-owns Collar (NZ) with his father, said the gelding was still in the Caulfield Guineas but was unlikely to run.

“I will leave that to Dad but I thought at this point, given he’s had three starts, that probably it might be a bit much for him but he will decide that during the week,” Williams said.

“He is a big raw sort of horse and has a great staying future ahead of him.”

Williams said the stable was mindful of not overtaxing Collar (NZ) but the Derby was a logical target.

“I would have thought that is exactly where he would be headed the way he went,” Williams said.

“We will wait and see as the horse is in his first preparation.

“He might last one more run, he might last four more runs. You have just
got to let them tell you.”

Bred by Little Avondale Trust, Collar (NZ) is the 50th stakes winner for Champion New Zealand sire O’Reilly. He is also a half-brother to Larry’s Never Late (NZ) (Pentire) who finished sixth to Rebel Raider (Reset) in the 2008 Victoria Derby.

Bred by Little Avondale Trust, Collar (NZ) is the 50th Stakes Winner for Champion New Zealand sire O’Reilly (NZ).

Hall said Collar (NZ) was “a free rolling type” who would only get better.

“I think he is one of our best but he has long way to go and a lot to learn,” Hall said.

“You will see a lot more of him. I like him a lot.”

Story courtesy of AAP Turf and NZTM.

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