Derby delight with Pinarello

Derby delight with Pinarello28 May 2022

An outstanding training performance and a stellar ride saw our homebred pride and joy Pinarello strip in prime order for the G1 Queensland Derby and he produced a winning performance to savour at Eagle Farm.

Congratulations to Roger James and Robert Wellwood for their expert conditioning skills and topped off by our retained rider Leith Innes, who produced a masterclass in the saddle after drawing barrier 17.

Innes had the son of the late Tavistock one off the fence behind the leading pack before improving wide 600 metres from home.

They took control 350 metres off the post and Pinarello earned a gold star for bravery under pressure to earn top honours in a driving finish.

“It was an inspired ride and I felt he could win it with the right ride and we got exactly the right ride,” James said.

Fifth off a wide passage in the G1 New Zealand Derby, Pinarello hadn’t raced since he waltzed away with the G2 Championship Stakes five weeks ago after James chose to bypass the G3 Rough Habit Plate due to the heavy going.

“On Rough Habit morning I thought we were going to run on an inevitably bad track and he’s been a weak and frail horse this preparation,” James said.

“I thought we could find a better way to the Derby.”

The Classic hadn’t originally been on the radar after the New Zealand Derby as James explained post-race.

“He was going to spell and fortunately it was Karaka sales week and we couldn’t get a float. After a week, I thought this horse has come through it so well and decided to keep him in work and this is the result,” he said.

“I’ve run second and third in the Queensland Derby previously and to win this is pretty special.”

Innes said he was able to slot in and one off the fence from his awkward gate and also paid tribute to the conditioning of Pinarello.

“I was pretty lucky and got in with a round to go. I had to make a move a bit early with a couple of slow ones in front of me.

“I was a sitting duck, but Roger had him very fit and we’ve never lost confidence in the horse. He’s still a little bit weak and will be even better as a four and five-year-old.”

Pinarello was offered at Karaka as part of our 2020 yearling draft but was retained to race after failing to meet his reserve.

A half-brother to stakes winners Bavella and Vernazza, Pinarello is out of the Zabeel mare Zonza, who James prepared to win the G3 Ladies’ Day Vase.

She has an unraced Tavistock two-year-old filly named Zazon, a yearling daughter by Almanzor and is currently in foal to Bivouac.

Zonza is booked to visit our Royal Ascot hero Hello Youmzain this season.