Lovemeto makes Vic Derby Statement
by Adam Hamilton
Exciting Kiwi trotter Lovemeto can wind back the clock a little in the Group 1 Victoria Trotters’ Derby.
There was a time when quality Kiwi raiders made the classic their own.
Houdini Star won it for John Hay in 2006 and Phil and Nathan Williamson combined to win with Springbank Richard the following year.
There was a bit of a gap then John and Josh Dickie brought across Speeding Spur to win in 2015.
The next year it was trotting maestro Paul Nairn and Wilmas Mate winning with Davey Butt in the bike.
The Dylan Ferguson and Graeme Rogerson-trained Lovemeto went quicker time than all those Kiwi winners when he toyed his rivals in the first heat of the Victoria Trotters’ Derby at Maryborough yesterday (Ssaturday).
The son of What The Hill showed the benefit of a terrific first Aussie run against older rivals, but streeting his rivals to win by a thumping 31.2m in a brisk 2min0.1sec mile rate for the longer 2690m trip.
Ferguson, who took the reins, declared he wanted to find the front before the race and did exactly that after 300m.
After a steady 62.6sec middle half, Lovemeto ripped home in 57.4 and 28.9sec to win seemingly with plenty in hand.
While it was certainly the easier of the two Derby heats, the improvement Lovemeto showed from his encouraging Aussie debut and his obvious staying prowess will make him as far to beat as any in next Sunday’s $75,000 Group 1 feature at Maryborough.
The second heat was fought out by local Victorian star The Locomotive and NSW visitor London To AS Brick.
Driver Nathan Jack used a gun draw to lead and dictate on The Locomotive, who won well, but London To A Brick’s effort to sit parked and run a close second was outstanding.
They will clearly be Lovemeto’s main dangers in the final.
Lovemeto is one two young trotters Ferguson is campaigning in Australia.
The other, filly Shez Bella, will also race at Maryborough next Sunday in the $12,000 Aldebaran Park Gold Bracelet (1690m).