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BLAST FROM THE PAST


1959 NZ DERBY STAKES: Won by Stormont

1959 NZ DERBY STAKES

Run in record time, the New Zealand Derby Stakes at Addington last Saturday proved a triumph for Stormont, a handsome son of Stormyway and Gold Leaf, and his connections. Stormont had won the Riccarton Stakes on the first day of the meeting with a brilliant run from the home turn and followed up that effort with a fine fourth placing in the New Zealand Metropolitan Challenge Stakes, a three and four-year-old race, on the second day.

On Saturday Stormont started from No.7 at the barrier, and was seventh when the field settled down, at which stage he became awkwardly placed. Stormont's prospects of getting a run in time did not look too bright as late as the half mile but he eventually worked clear and was showing up wide out as the field rounded the home bend. He responded gamely to the urging on the part of his driver K A Chapman, to get up short of the post and beat Sun Chief decisively by three-quarters of a length.

His success, after anything but a smooth passage, was accomplished in the manner of a high-class three-year-old and left little room for excuses for those who finished behind him. Stormont paced the mile and a half journey in 3:11 4-5 to establish new figures for the race, figures which also established a fresh New Zealand record for a three-year-old, the previous best being 3:12 1-5, established by Fallacy in 1951.

Blue Prince took the lead from Sun Chief at the end of a furlong and a half and set a solid pace. He led from Sun Chief at the mile post with Dark Wonder, Arania, Sally Boy, Samantha, Stormont, Peebles and Calumite following. Sun Chief tangled with six furlongs left to run but did not lose much ground and he was on terms with Blue Prince racing to the straight. At this stage Stormont was improving wide out and Arania, Peebles, Samantha, Calumite and Sally Boy were all handy. Sun Chief looked likely to win just inside the furlong but Stormont finished too well. Arania was next in front of Sally Boy and then came Blue Prince and Samantha, with Whipdale eight lengths back followed by Calumite, Massacre and Peebles.

The honours were all with Stormont and Sun Chief was by no means disgraced in defeat. He met with an injury in the NZ Metropolitan Challenge Stakes. Arania paced her usual honest race for third and Sally Boy's fourth placing was a useful one as he broke with five furlongs to run. Arania, who paced the journey in 3:12 1-5, set a new mile and a half record for a filly. Sun Chief paced the journey in 3:12 and Sally Boy returned 3:12 2-5, times which made it clear that the contest was truly run.

Stormont is one of the first get of his sire, Stormyway, who was imported to New Zealand by Mr J M Connolly, Geraldine. Stormont is a fine pacer and he was produced in grand order by his trainer and part-owner, K A Chapman, who races Stormont in partnership with Mr J E V Chapman. The Chapman's also bred Stormont. Gold Leaf, dam of Stormont, was got by Gold Bar from Kohua, by Jack Potts-Grace Dillon, by Harold Dillon. Gold Leaf ranks as a half sister to the good winner Roschana. Kohua is a full sister to the winners Karoro and Master Dillon and a half sister to Oro's Pride and Harvest Dillon.

It is not generally known that Stormont met with an injury three days previous to his Riccarton Stakes success and at the time a start appeared doubtful. A substantial offer was turned down for the Stormyway colt before he had won on the first day.

Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 25Nov59

 
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