FEATURE RACE COMMENT
Much as predicted, Dillon Dean defeated Godfrey in the $150,000 John Brandon New Zealand Derby.
He confirmed his rating as New Zealand's best three-year-old with a win by more than two lengths in the classic and in a time that was a race record. Godfrey had his chance and tried hard, but didn't have a hope of trimming much off Dillon Dean's lead over the last 300 metres. "He went a bit rough on the corner. That cost him two lengths, but the other horse was too good. He usually goes better the Auckland way round. He doesn't wear a murphy like he had to here," said driver Tony Herlihy.
After being steadied during the early rush for positions, Dillon Dean was taken to the front by Maurice McKendry near the 2100 metres. McKendry had it the way he wanted from there, allowing Dillon Dean to run his last mile in 2:01.2, and his last 800m in 58.5. Gidfrey ran on gamely, followed wider out, by the two Taranaki colts, Joker Man and Reba Lord, neither of whom had it easy over the last lap.
This was Dillon Dean's 12th win from 20 starts, and the $97,500 first prize took his earnings to $318,650.
Credit: Harness Racing Weekly