Apollo Creed punches ticket to Victoria Derby

Chatswood Stud stallion Primus has sired a live Victoria Derby candidate in his first crop.  Apollo Creed punched his ticket for a classic campaign after winning the Ken Cox 2YO Hcp (1420m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Apollo Creed (2g Primus – She’s A Knockout by Kingston Rule) stormed home to score by two lengths from I Feel Good (Delago Brom) and Graskop (Manton) at headquarters.

“It’s surprised me that he won so easily,” trainer John McArdle said.  “I though he could run in the first four but he accelerated really well  We’ve always thought he would stay.”

Apollo Creed had won at Seymour earlier this month.  He was a $20,000 buy from the 2010 Inglis Classic Sale and is raced in partnership by Sanctuary Investments, Sheriff Iskander and Gazal Thoroughbreds.

Primus was a G1 performer for Randwick trainer John O’Shea before retiring to Chatswood.  

He is a son of Flying Spur and has upgraded Apollo Creed’s pedigree according to McArdle.  “His mother is related to some very ordinary horses.  But he’s a very good type and will have a let-up before we bring him back for a Derby preparation.”

Primus has covered over 500 mares in his first four seasons at stud.  He will stand for a $5,500 fee this year.

Winning jockey Daniel Stackhouse said Apollo Creed was a promising stayer in the making.  “I got back a little bit but the horse relaxed beautifully.  He let down and picked them up quickly.”