YEAR: 1995


Il Vicolo leads the 1995 Derby field into the straight

Champion 3-year-old Il Vicolo made a clean sweep of the John Brandon series, just as everyone thought he would. He led for all but the first 200m of the New Zealand Derby, and gave the others a sound beating, as he had done in the first two legs of the classic.

His next assignment is the Great Northern Derby, which will mark the end of a brief second-season campaign in which the best of his age group have been unable to test him, and in most cases were outclassed. Part-owner and driver Mark Purdon said it was likely that he would start off next season against the Cup horses... "We will plan it like that. We could race him in the New Zealand Cup next season," he said. Purdon said the key factor to Il Vicolo being so superior is his attitude. "He is very relaxed. He's a horse you can use up in a race, and he doesn't take a lot of work," he said.

Il Vicolo, who has now won nine races in succession and 15 from 18 starts, is part owned by Canterbury farmer John Seaton, who also has with Purdon a Soky's Atom 2-year-old from Il Vicolo's family, and a Vance Hanover colt from the Mark Lobell mare Bevie (dam of Alba Lobell) he will race in partnership with Tony Herlihy.

Ready For Love ran second, after driver Graham Ward made use of his gate speed to cross first, knowing Il Vicolo would give him cover. Mark Purdon did that before the 2200m, and Ready For Love made the most of a sit trip by lasting better than Brocketsbrae for second.

Credit: Philip O'Connor writing in HRNZ Weekly

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