WS-bred Derby runner-up heading to Sydney

Andalus will head across the Tasman next month after nearly pulling off a massive 100-1 upset in the G1 New Zealand Derby at Te Rapa.

The Waikato Stud-bred and sold son of Almanzor fell a long neck short of upsetting the ruling favourite Sharp ‘N’ Smart for Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh.

A multiple black-type placegetter at two, Andalus broke through for a maiden victory in January and his run for seventh in last month’s G2 Avondale Guineas was a meritorious effort.

“He actually went really well in the Avondale Guineas and his jockey thought he could have gone close to winning if he got out of the gates better and had a clearer run. The run was a lot better than it looked,” Marsh said.

“Everyone knew they were going to struggle to beat Sharp ‘N’ Smart, but I certainly didn’t think he deserved to be the price he was.

“He got caught three-wide and covered a lot of ground coming into the straight so I thought his run was very brave.”

The gelding’s reward will be a trip across the Tasman for the G1 Australian Derby at Randwick on April 1 and another potential meeting with Sharp ‘N’ Smart.

“It took a while for the penny to drop at three and it probably helped gelding him. This preparation has been good. He’s a natural staying horse and we’ve always thought a lot of him,” Marsh said.

“We’ve got a month into the Australian Derby and all going to plan that will be his next race.”

Andalus was a $420,000 Karaka purchase for agent Bruce Perry on behalf of Wellington owner Lib Petagna and is a son of the Savabeel mare Genius, who foaled a filly by Tivaci in 2022 before visiting Ocean Park.

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