Provocative could realise Wyborn’s Derby dream

Provocative scoring easily at Ellerslie in her third start.

Provocative scoring easily at Ellerslie in her third start.

Auckland businessman Mark Wyborn’s desire to own a Derby winner is burning as brightly as ever.

“I’m absolutely passionate about it, it’s the only race that matters to me. I’m a bit one-eyed about it I’m afraid,” said the Auckland businessman.

“I haven’t won one yet, but hopefully I can do it soon. The problem with the Derby is that the horse only gets one shot at it.

“As we know you can have two or three shots at the Melbourne Cup, the Caulfield Cup or the Cox Plate, but with a Derby everything has to be right on that one day.”

The closest Wyborn’s has come to fulfilling his Derby dream was in 2010 when Martial Art finished sixth at Ellerslie behind Military Move.

“I’ve had eight or nine runners and we also had the favourite one year, but he did a tendon on the Tuesday before the race,” he said. “That was Sufficient and we really rated him.”

Wyborn was also hopeful of his chances this year with Provocative, the daughter of Zabeel he races with Robin Peel-Walker, but the Tony Pike-trained filly was forced out of the classic by injury.

Provocative, now fully recovered, is first emergency for Saturday’s Gr.1 Queensland Oaks. If she fails to gain a start, she will run in the Gr. 2 Eagle Farm Cup in a bid to earn enough money to qualify for a start in the Gr. 1 Queensland Derby a week later.

Wyborn and Peel-Walker, who realised his Derby dream at Ellerslie in 1976 with Silver Lad, will also be represented by the Chris Waller-trained Rodrico in the Derby on June 11.

“He’s won three of his last four so we’ll see how he goes,” said Wyborn. A son of High Chaparral, Rodrico was a $235,000 Karaka buy while Provocative cost $250,000.

“We come away from the sales thinking that’s the one and no-one else saw what we did – every owner thinks the same,” said Wyborn.

“We’ve paid a lot for some horses, we’ve bought cheaper ones and we’ve bought in the middle and none have been more successful than the others, but I’ll keep trying.”

– NZ Racing Desk.