Surprise Derby package in fine form

A horse bought for a crack at the country’s biggest pot of juvenile gold is now making smooth progress toward the richest three-year-old prize.

High early hopes went unfulfilled with Swissta, but his connections now only have eyes for the $1 million Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby.

"My son Jason was going to come over and ride him at Ellerslie the Christmas before last in the maiden two-year-old race and then come back for the Karaka Million, but the horse went shin sore,” trainer Richard Collett said.

"He did show a good turn of foot as a young horse and it’s been a pleasant surprise that he can race on the speed now and relax.”

Swissta has beaten the older horses twice this preparation and last time out he successfully reverted to his own age group company to win the Gr.2 Great Northern Guineas on New Year’s Day.

"He’s come through that race very well,” Collett said. "I think he’ll run at least 2000 metres very comfortably and tentatively the plan is to go to a mile at Tauranga and then the Waikato Guineas, but a final decision is yet to be made.”

Swissta is currently an $18 chance in the Derby market while stablemate Top Prospect is also at $18.

Also a son of Swiss Ace, Top Prospect completed his hat-trick of wins in the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial before he was side-lined with a hamstring tear.

"He’s back in work now and he looks really well – the little break has been good for him to be honest,” Collett said. "He may run in the Karaka Mile.” – NZ Racing Desk.


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