Derby Bound; Rising star Didjamakem Bolt is headed to Brisbane for the Queensland Derby on July 21.
Strong interest from the Shaky Isles continues to build for the Queensland Winter Carnival.
Champion trainer Mark Purdon has earmarked the Gr.1 Knudsen's Betta Home Living $100,000 Queensland Derby at Albion Park on July 21 for his richly talented pair of 3yo's Didjamaken Bolt and Best Deal Yet.
Both pacers are raced by leviathan owners Merv and Meg Butterworth.
Didjamakem Bolt is a gelded son of Tinted Cloud who has created a strong impression in three starts to date at Addington with his latest victory resulting in a 7 length romp defeating Woodlea Legend and Ratlock in a stunning time of 1;57.8 for the 1950m event.
“Bolt is a very talented type but still very immature and raw but there is no doubting his ability. The Queensland Derby is a nice race with good prizemoney attached to it and it fits his schedule nicely.” Purdon said.
Didjamaken Bolt has arrived in the North Island last Friday with connections looking at a race at Alexandra Park, Auckland on June 15 before finalising plans for Brisbane.
“I've got a race marked for him at Auckland and then we will sit down and sort out travel plans for both boys. Best Deal Yet has already travelled to Australia this season and will provide good company for Bolt who is making his first big trip.
This trip to Brisbane will provide a good platform for the following season because I think he will be a major force in a lot of those bigger races next season. The Queensland Derby should provide a good opportunity for Merv to get some of his money back on his investment.
Merv got me to trial him a few months ago at Invercargill and I liked what I saw that day and Merv was keen to secure him and the rest is history. Even when he got beat at Addington I thought he went fantastic that night, once he fills into his frame it will be exciting.”
Best Deal Yet is not just making up the numbers for the Queensland Derby campaign with Purdon warning his rivals he is still on the way up.
The Bettors Delight gelding finished a respectable fourth in the Gr.1 $NZ150,000 3yo Emerald Final on Jewels Day last Saturday behind stablemate Smolda in a national record equalling time of 1;52.1.
Best Deal Yet recorded an individual time of 1;53.2.
“He raced very well in the final on the weekend. Blair was happy with his effort considering he did his fair share of work in the run and he just missed the placings at the finish.
He's been work in progress so far this season but he's raced very well. He didn't have much luck in his heat of the Victoria Derby from a tough draw before returning to New Zealand where he raced well in the Northern Derby series.
The draw in the New Zealand Derby didn't help him but he raced well in the Southern Supremacy Final behind Texican in fast time at Invercargill. He's a nice wee horse who tries very hard.”
Purdon is no stranger to the Brisbane Winter Carnival after competing last year with Tatijana Bromac in the Queensland Oaks.
And Butterworth is hoping to go one better in the Queensland Derby this year after Motu Crusader finished second to For A Reason in the 2010 edition.