Matthew Dunn was a man on a mission following Derry Grove’s nightmare run in the $2million Kosciuszko (1200m) at Randwick in October.
The Murwillumbah trainer took Derry Grove back home and set about having him cherry-ripe for the $1million Magic Millions The Syndicate (1100m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday. The 5yo son of Vinery sire Star Turn responded with a flying finish wearing a distinctive white browband for a Viva Racing Syndicate.
“Things didn’t go his way in the Kosciusko and it’s been our plan to come to this race from that day,” Dunn said after the last-stride victory over Helluva Barty (Hellbent). “A lot of hard work has gone into him at home and now he’s back bigger and better than ever!”
Stewards noted how things went pear-shaped in the Kosciuszko. “Derry Grove was bumped heavily on jumping then steadied off heels. Raced keenly and got its head up on a number of occasions. Had difficulty obtaining a clear run in the early part of the straight and approaching the 200m. Shifted to the inside of Mogo Magic and was then taken further in by that runner.”
“He’s a really nice, competitive horse but it took a while for him to learn how to settle and relax in his races,” Dunn recalled. “Viva Racing and Mitch Lowe have been big supporters and the owners are a patient bunch so it’s really good to win a big race for them.
“And every Star Turn I’ve put a bridle on has had city-class ability. They’re sound with good minds and you should consider him if you want to breed a winner.”
Derry Grove was bred by Boost Juice founders Jeff and Janine Allis and sold for $30,000 at the 2020 Gold Coast Magic Millions. Saturday’s result improved his career-card to 5 wins in 12 starts for $792,650 in prizemoney. His dam True Malt (Elusive Quality) has also thrown winners by All Too Hard, Brazen Beau and Foxwedge and her final foal is a yearling colt by Nicconi that’s been catalogued as Lot 571 for the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale on Tuesday, March 5.
“I wasn’t sure who had won when we hit the line,” jockey Nash Rawiller admitted. “I was head down riding my backside off and was just happy to see the number in the frame when I got back. I’ve had a fair bit of success with Matt and this is probably the pinnacle.”
Star Turn finished Book 1 with a perfect clearance-rate at the Gold Coast Magic Millions averaging $172,500 to a top-price of $280,000 for Vinery’s colt from Joyful Journey (Lot 815) that was purchased by Ciaron Maher.
There’s another 7 Star Turns catalogued for Book 2 on Monday and Tuesday starting with the colt from Bleue Pepite (Lot 1060). He’s a half-brother to La Defense (Capitalist) who is unbeaten this prep following wins at Gawler, Morphettville (2) and Murray Bridge for part-owner and trainer Will Clarken.