Kiwi flavour to Derby win
By Adam Hamilton
THROWING caution to wind on every level won the Group 1 Victoria Derby for emerging star Muscle Factory.
Driver Lauren Tritton said he felt a different horse in the warm-up to his heat at Ballarat a week earlier and drove him accordingly.
He felt different because Lauren and co-trainer Shane Tritton dared to “rip all the gear off his head and cut him loose.”
Muscle Factory looked awkward and unhappy at times during his Ballarat heat when well beaten by Kiwi star Im Anothermasterpiece, but he turned the tables in emphatic fashion and scorching time at Melton last night.
The son of Roll With Joe blasted to the front from gate five and Lauren just cut him loose with splits of 29.0, 28.7, 28.3 and 28.4sec for the last mile.
Muscle Factory powered home by 4.7m over a very brave Im Anothermasterpiece in a 1min54sec mile rate for 2240m, which equalled Our Waikiki Beach’s Melton 3YO track record.
“I just know he’s a superstar and that’s how we drove him,” Lauren said. “He got a bit keen tonight, but we just decided to let him do what he whatever he wanted to do. I had a good hold on him, but those sectional times were what he wanted to run.”
Muscle Factory is raced in partnership by high-profile Kiwi owners Clive and Rona McKay along with Dayna Kahlefeldt.
The McKays were trackside to celebrate the win.
“All credit goes to Shane and Lauren,” Clive said. “Rona asked them to find a good two-year-old last season and they certainly did that.
“They made some gear changes after the heat and you saw the results tonight.”
The win, away from Menangle, is massively important for Team Tritton.
Now they get to head back home for the NSW Derby next month with Muscle Factory.
Im Anothermasterpiece worked outside the leader for the first half of the race, got some brief cover from Hurricane Harley, but then had to set-out and chase Muscle Factory himself. His run was full of merit.
Lochinvar Art ran another terrific race for third, further justifying connections decision to knock back a reported $250,000 from the Kevin Pizzuto stable.
Breeders Crown 2YO winner Hurricane Harley ran the worst race of his career after a midrace move to sit parked and tiring to be virtually retired from the race.