In the space of a week local racegoers have been privy to witnessing two of the rising stars of WA racing. Seven days after Amelia’s Jewel announced her arrival on the big stage following the Karrakatta Plate, Alaskan God followed up and underlined his staying credentials in the WA Derby. Back in the field, wide at the turn, the son of Playing God unleashed a devastating turn of foot in the straight to space his nearest rival by 3 ¼ lengths. Unbeaten this preparation, one loss in six, closing in on half a million dollars in prizemoney and bonuses, he has the racing world at his feet.
With Dan Morton domiciled in the eastern states for the past couple of weeks overseeing the campaign of Kissonallforcheeks, it’s been left to his team at home, headed by stable foreman Vince Collica to manage the preparation of Alaskan God and the remainder of their stable and they didn’t let him down. The sense of relief on Collica’s face post-race indicated there was a fair amount of self imposed pressure in the build up to the Derby.
Parnham ticked off another career ambition by winning the WA Derby for the first time. By his own admission he felt nervous leading up to the race, but his anxiety was quickly allayed when Alaskan God came storming home for a comprehensive victory. It was icing on the cake after he partnered Arracity for trainer Brian Kersley in race two.
A miserable day for punters if they were on the favourites with none of the nine market leaders saluting. Acromantula ($1.50) set the tone and it continued with Sniparoochy ($1.90), Swear To God ($2.30), Premium Choice ($1.50), Harmika ($1.60), Comes A Time ($2.50), Chuck A Luck ($3.50), Trix Of The Trade ($2.15) and Trade War ($2.50).
Her reputation rejuvenating tried horses was further enhanced when Lonehand Larry, two starts into his tenure with Dickson, scored in the last race. She works tirelessly and can consistently find a way to refresh other trainers’ cast offs both physically and mentally.
He couldn’t get the Oaks-Derby result he so dearly wanted with Lady Chant, who wasn’t disgraced when fifth behind Alaskan God, but he was on fire earlier when Star Present ended a string of minor placings and My Dilemma scored at double figure odds. He shared the training spoils with Neville Parnham who prepared tough mare Express Time and two-year-old Snowdome.
It was one of those days for Grantham with two close seconds when State Attorney was beaten a nose and Comes A Time came within a short-head of Staralign who refused to give in out in front.