Another Derby Winner?

By Adam Hamilton

BEING the All Stars’ second-best three-year-old could be enough to make Im Another Masterpiece the stable’s third Victoria Derby winner.

Mark Purdon won his first Victoria Derby when Tony Herlihy partnered Rare Gem to win in 2001 then it wasn’t until the awesome Lazarus in 2016 when he won it again.

But Im Another Masterpiece made a real statement winning by far the strongest of the three heats and doing it in style at Ballarat last Saturday night.

Driver and co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen was content to let Shane and Lauren Tritton’s buzz pacer Muscle Factory lead and sit on it, but things changed when Im Another Masterpiece left the trail to sit parked with a lap to run.

In doing so, Rasmussen avoid being pocketed on a track without a sprint lane but also kept another key contender, Centenario, three-wide for the final lap.

“You don’t come all this way to be unlucky,” Rasmussen said. “You have to run top three and I wasn’t going to to run a nice hard-held fourth on the fence.

“It was a nice win and the run should tighten him up for the final.”

Back home, Im Another Masterpiece has played second-fiddle to gifted stablemate Ultimate Sniper, who is being saved for the NSW Derby next month.

Im Another Masterpiece simply packed too much zip for his rivals in a scorching 54.9sec last half and won by 2.9m from Muscle Factory with a gallant Lochinvar Art third after doing plenty of work outside the leader for much of the race.

In the talent-crammed heat, Centenario tired for sith and missed the final, while stablemate Demon Delight was only first emergency for the final after finishing a luckless fifth.

Im Another Masterpiece went a 1min55.9sec mile rate for 2200m, while the first heat winner, Breeders Crown 2YO champ Hurricane Harley, led throughout win softly in a 1min56.8sec mile rate.

The third heat was a dawdle early for leader and winner Max Delight, who sprinted home in 26.5sec at the end of a slow 2min0.4sec mile rate to win by 2.8m over Perfect Major and Petes Big Jim.

The Aussie TAB has Hurricane Harley a slight $2.60 pre-draw favourite ahead of Im Another Masterpiece at $2.70 then the other heat winner, Max Delight, at $4.50.

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