10 April 2018 | Andrew Eddy | Racing.com
Six years ago, owner/breeder Trevor Delroy broke new ground when a maiden winner of the ATC Derby with Ethiopia and now he’s eyeing off an even less likely classic win at Randwick on Saturday.
Delroy’s Wyadup Valley Farm bred and owns the little-known Naivasha, who takes her place in Saturday’s $1million Australian Oaks. She too was a maiden until her third and latest start when she won her first race at, of all places, Stony Creek.
The class rise to a Group 1 staying classic at Randwick is surely a steep one but on Naivasha’s side is that her maiden win was by a widening seven lengths and that her mum Durban is a sister to Ethiopia.
WATCH: Naivasha’s big maiden win
Trainer Nigel Blackiston explained on Tuesday after his filly made the final Oaks field of 13 that Delroy had stated early in the filly’s development that he wanted to aim her at the Oaks in Sydney.
“Trevor’s always been very keen to run here or maybe go to Brisbane,” Blackiston said. “It’s fallen into place. We aimed to get here and we’ve got here.
“She will be strong late. I know it was only a Stony Creek maiden but she won by seven going away so the mile and a half won’t pose a problem.
“She’s a very nice promising staying filly of the future. Obviously it’s her first prep so it’s a big ask but she’s certainly going to stay, that’s for sure.
“There are 12 nicely-performed horses above us so we’ll see what happens. There’s a few in there that might not stay so we’re hoping for midfield and hopefully better.”
Although Ethiopia was a maiden when he won the ATC Derby in 2012, he had been placed in the Group 2 Autumn Classic and Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes on the way through and was just a $15 shot in the big one on the day. Naivasha is currently a $101 chance.