Colt makes bold derby statement

New Zealand Derby prospect Scrutinize drew further attention to his classic prospects with an outstanding display at Awapuni last Saturday. The WS graduate returned from a break to post a commanding victory in the Rich Hill Stud 3YO Premier.

“He’s a laid back sort of colt and he is going to keep on improving the further we go with him,” co-trainer Jamie Richards said. “That was pretty soft in the end. He needed to have this run before the Great Northern Guineas on New Year’s Day and then he’ll go on to the Avondale and Waikato Guineas before the Derby.”
Scrutinize was unbeaten in his first two starts before he finished runner-up in the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas. He then ran seventh in the Gr.2 James & Annie Sarten Memorial at Te Rapa before he was put aside in favour of pressing on to Christchurch for the Gr.1 NZ 2000 Guineas.

“We didn’t think going to Riccarton on a pretty firm track was the right thing to do with him,” Richards said. “He’s ready to go further now and David (Ellis) said when he bought him that this was his Derby horse.”

The Te Akau principal went to $200,000 to secure the son of Savabeel and the multiple Group One winner Legs out of WS’s Premier Sale line-up at Karaka in 2014. Scrutinize’s Awapuni effort has elevated him to outright Derby favouritism.

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