History making meet: Derby races broadcast for the first time

George ManningBroome Advertiser
Ulusaba winning the Derby Cup from Nevarda and Pieropan.
Camera IconUlusaba winning the Derby Cup from Nevarda and Pieropan. Credit: Supplied/George Manning

Australia saw the boab tree in a new light last Saturday, when for the first time, the annual Derby race meeting was beamed around Australia by Sky TV.

Boabs and Thoroughbreds in the Bush.

What a huge advert for Derby and the West Kimberley to be seen on its biggest social event of the year, and the biggest crowd ever at a Derby race meeting turned out to celebrate.

But before the first race apprentice jockey Angela Johnston was unseated in the mounting yard, and sent to hospital for observation.

No serious injury to report, but she did not ride for the rest of the meeting, which meant finding other jockeys for her rides.

The racing began with Old Times providing the first leg of a winning double for both trainer Darryn Pateman and jockey Simone Altieri.

Odds-on favourite Advocator provided the Morton stable with their first ever Derby winner, and the first leg of a riding double for Kyra Yuill.

Dashing Image dashed to the lead in race three and won the Derby Sprint convincingly, giving the Pateman stable its winning double and victory to rider Jessica Gray.

Kalakaua broke his maiden status in race four, after being ridden midfield by Austin Galati. Carey Martin celebrated her first Derby win as a trainer.

Danehill Star took his winning Broome form to Derby and did not let supporters down after being confidently ridden by Simone AltierI. Her riding double gave trainer Angela Smith a welcome win, although Angela and husband Mal, are no strangers to the Derby track, having enjoyed success in the past.

So to the cup, and what a race, with the winner, Ulusaba, a doubtful starter, with no jockey named until eight o’clock on the morning of the race, which came about because the stablemate Magic Will Reign was a late scratching. Late money saw Ulusaba shorten considerably in betting.

The six-year-old gelding gave Yuill her riding double, when it led virtually from barrier to box, allowing the odds on fav, In The Bag, little hope of victory.

The Fashions on the Field were fab, but a little known historical fact went unknown.

A jockey who won the cup in 1975, on a horse called Tarcoola King, trained by Phil Grantham, was making his first visit to Derby in 47 years.

As a trainer, he brought three horses to Derby last Saturday, and met with no luck at all. But . . . he did train the winner of the last race in Perth.

Well done, David Harrison!

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