OTI Achieves Derby Dream

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Terry Henderson of OTI Racing admitted he was ticking a major milestone off his racing bucket list on Saturday when winning the G1 New Zealand Derby with Vin De Dance (NZ) (Roc De Cambes {NZ}. Third last-out in the G2 Avondale Guineas on Feb. 17, Vin De Dance gained a prominent position two paths off the fence heading into the first bend. Stalking the pace in a joint second down the backstretch, the bay made a bold early move to briefly overtake the pacesetting Irish Flame (NZ) (Zed {NZ}), but he was promptly passed once again by that rival and settled a length off him approaching the 600. Two-wide turning for home, Vin de Dance found daylight ahead of him as a handful of his rivals fanned wide. He used the length of the stretch to grind his way to the lead with Mongolianconqueror (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}) shadowing him every step of the way, but Vin De Dance got his nose on the wire in a thrilling finish.

“I rarely get emotional, but I’ve waited a long time to win this,” Henderson told NZ Racing. “I’ve come close a few times and I owe an enormous debt to this race and New Zealand-bred horses; it’s really special.”

“It’s an amazing story, really, and I saw him in the ring [at Karaka] when he was passed in. I said to [bloodstock agent] Phill Cataldo, ‘who owned the horse?’ He said it was a mate of his, Luigi Muollo. I asked [trainer] Murray [Baker] to tell me what he thought of the horse and we ended up getting him and now he’s won the Derby.”

Henderson said Vin De Dance would likely now head to Australia. That would be Vin De Dance’s second trip across the Tasman; he finished third in a plate race at Caulfield and fifth in the G2 Drummond Gold Vase at Moonee Valley last October behind G1 Thousand Guineas winner Aloisia (NZ) (Azamour {Ire}).

Pedigree Notes…

Vin De Dance is the second living foal out of the stakes-placed Explosive Dancer, who has a 2-year-old filly by the recently deceased Jakkalberry (Ire) and a yearling colt by Per Incanto to follow. The aforementioned Luigi Muollo, who remained in the ownership of Vin De Dance, stood Jakkalberry at Novara Stud so Saturday’s win was a timely boost for him. Explosive Dancer is a half-sister to the stakes-winning Extra Explosive (NZ) (Ekraar {GB}).

Saturday, Ellerslie, New Zealand
NEW ZEALAND DERBY-G1, NZ$964,000, ARC, 3yo, Open Set Weight, 2400mT, 2:28.44, Good.
1–VIN DE DANCE, 56.5, g, 3, by Roc de Cambes
1st Dam: Explosive Dancer (SP-NZ), by San Luis (AUS)
2nd Dam: Explosive, by Exploding Prospect (USA)
3rd Dam: Tina’s Spirit (AUS), by Beau Ghost (AUS)
1ST STAKES WIN. (NZ$70,000 2YO 2016 NZB Ready to Run
Sale) O-Oti Racing (Mgr: T Henderson), L Muollo & Kilted
Taniwha Syndicate; B-Explosive Breeding Ltd, Central, NZ; T-M
Baker & A Forsman; J-J L Waddell; NZ$600,000. Lifetime
Record: 9-2-2-2, A$594,960. Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for
the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Mongolianconqueror, 56.5, g, 3, Ocean Park–Queen Rania,
by The Jogger (USA). (NZ$130,000 2YO 2016 NZB Ready to Run
Sale; NZ$100,000 Ylg 2016 NZB National Yearling Sale) O-Inner
Mongolia Rider Horse Industry (NZ) Ltd & Te Akau Conqueror
Syndicate (Mgr: D C Ellis); B-H A David, Waikato, NZ; T-S
Autridge & J Richards; J-M J Mc Nab; NZ$174,000.
3–Danzdanzdance (AUS), 54.5, f, 3, Mastercraftsman (Ire)
Night Danza (AUS), by Danzero (AUS). (NZ$5,000 Ylg 2016 NZB
National Yearling Sale) O-B.A.X Bloodstock Achieving Xcellence
Ltd, S Barnao, M Hawes, J Loose, R J Stern, R Tierney, S Torres
& L Wotton; B-W G & H G Bax NSW; T-D Logan & C Gibbs; J-M
Cameron; NZ$86,500.
Margins: 0.1 len, 1.6 len, 1.7 len. Odds: 8.90, 15.00, 2.50.
Also Ran: The Mayor, Endowment, Mission Hill (AUS), Civil Disobedience, On the Rocks, Time Lord, Irish Flame, Joe’s Legacy, Humble Pie, Bel Ragazzo (AUS), Jimmy Rocket, Secret Ambition, Maktoum, Tavlin, He’s a Freak.
Click for the Racing Post result. Click for the free Arion.co.nz catalogue-style pedigree.

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