Maygrove takes a step towards Derby

The TV3 NZ Derby aspirations have been kept alive for Cambridge three-year-old Maygrove, but he is still only an outside chance to get to the March 1 Ellerslie feature.

In the hands of Opie Bosson, Maygrove came with a strong finish to clear out from his rivals over the final stages of the Bluelab-Soluition & Soil Testers 2100 at Tauranga last Wednesday, scoring by two and three-quarter lengths from Pink Diamond.

“Opie rode him perfectly” said co-trainer Andrew Forsman. “He didn’t bustle him early and he’s got to the line well.”

Maygrove, an Australian-bred son of Authorized, had failed in his two juvenile starts and had raced a further six times this season before finally breaking through for his first win.

He had been placed in five of those starts with his failure coming in the Gr. 2 The Sound Championship Stakes (2100m), his first step up to a staying test when finishing ninth, eight lengths behind his winning stablemate Show The World.

Forsman and co-trainer Murray Baker had kept Maygrove to 2100 metres since the black-type outing and racing closer to the pace he hadn’t shown the same finishing burst he produced yesterday. He was beaten just under a length on both occasions when third at Tauranga and Te Rapa.

“He’s in the Derby but he’s still go a way to go to get there,” said Forsman. “The Derby field is falling away, as it usually does, but he’ll still have to do something in the Avondale Guineas to get in.

“He’s still a chance to get there and he will run the trip out.”

The Baker – Forsman stable has three horses among the current entries for the Gr. 1 $750,000 TV3 NZ Derby (2400m) with the brightest hope being Bastille, a son of Guillotine who will contest the Don Coltman Memorial Premier, a rating 65 2100 metres at Te Rapa on Saturday.

Bastille was an eye-catching third on debut over 1600 metres behind Undiscovered at Tauranga on January 10 and followed with a strong win over 2100 metres at Te Teko 17 days later. Bosson will ride him for the first time on Saturday.

The other stable entrant for the Derby is Horse Warrior, who disappointed when eighth at Tauranga yesterday. He had been an encouraging third fresh-up at Pukekohe over 1200 metres but got back inside the eventual winner, Full Count, and didn’t show the same finishing burst.