Sporting legend Denis Pagan wins the AAMI Victoria Derby
AFL dual-premiership winning coach turned racehorse trainer Denis Pagan has won the 167th running of the $2 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby with Johnny Get Angry at Flemington Racecourse today.
Johnny Get Angry was ridden by young jockey Lachlan King, who has partnered with Johnny Get Angry in all seven of his career race starts. Today’s fairytale win was the first Group 1 victory for trainer, horse and jockey. Pagan is also the outright owner of the Flemington trained three-year-old, the first horse in his stable.
Earlier in the day, the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes saw the fillies beat the colts and geldings to take out the quinella, with September Run winning the race for Chris Waller and Craig Williams from Swats That. Chris Waller enjoyed a Group 1 double by subsequently taking out the Group 1 Kennedy Cantala with Yulong Prince, ridden by Damian Lane.
Shout The Bar won the Group 1 TAB Empire Rose Stakes for fillies and mares in a photofinish for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. It was another Group 1 for champion jockey Damien Oliver.
Earlier the German-trained stayer Ashrun won the Group 3 Lexus Hotham Stakes to secure his place in Tuesday’s $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup for German trainer Andreas Wohler, who won the 2014 edition of the Cup with Protectionist. Wohler made the long journey from Germany to be at Flemington Racecourse today, where he witnessed Ashrun win the final golden ticket into Tuesday’s 160th running of the Australia’s greatest race.
Following AAMI Victoria Derby Day, Damien Oliver leads the Ron Hutchison Award for jockeys during Melbourne Cup Carnival with eight points, while Flemington trainer Chris Waller leads the JB Cummings Award for trainers on nine points after securing a treble.
Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Chief Executive Officer Neil Wilson said AAMI Victoria Derby Day justified its reputation as the one of greatest days in the Australian calendar.
“The racing today, highlighted by four Group 1s, has been exceptional,” Mr Wilson said.
“While we were disappointed not to be able to welcome people from Melbourne, Victoria, allover Australia and around the world to Flemington Racecourse, the racing action has certainly delivered, with some exhilarating finishes across a day including a heart-warming moment with champion AFL coach, Flemington trainer Denis Pagan training his first Group 1 winner with Johnny Get Angry.
“We now eagerly await the 160th running of the Lexus Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.”
The Network 10 broadcast featured multiple ARIA-winning genre defying artist, ILLY, performed his energetic hit anthem, Then What, while former Australian Crawl front man and rock royalty James Reyne sang his 80s cult classic, Motor’s Too Fast.
Off track, people from all over Australia tuned into the telecast to celebrate AAMI Victoria Derby Day, including Jordan and Zac Stenmark, Jasmine Stefanovic, Melbourne Cup Carnival Sydney Insider Tegan Martin and Snezana Wood, Melbourne Cup Carnival Ambassador Nadia Bartel, and Myer Fashions on Your Front Lawn Ambassador Olivia Molly Rogers.
On track, the Melbourne Cup Carnival Entertainment Hub, home of Network 10’s studio, LexusHQ, welcomed special guests including VRC Ambassadors Elliot Garnaut and Crystal Kimber who featured in 10’s Derby Day broadcast.
The final field for the Lexus Melbourne Cup has been set for the race that stops a nation with Anthony Van Dyck carrying the top weight.