Warmonger clears out to claim Group 1 Queensland Derby

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Warmonger (+850) has given his rivals a galloping lesson in the Group 1 Derby (2400m) at on Saturday afternoon, pulling away to an impressive 10-length victory.

The Group 1 (2500m) runner-up looked to have it pre-race, with most judges mapping the son of to drag back towards the rear of the field from barrier 18; however, had other ideas.

The & (Jnr)-trained gelding was sent forward early in the contest, proving to be the winning move for the three-year-old, as Shinn gained an economical run in transit.

He hadn't shown much early speed in the past, but with (+1200) charging forward under Craig Williams, it allowed Shinn to work his mount towards the front of the field, while the pair of pre-race favourites, Autumn Angel (+130) and Tannhauser (+360), were forced to work from awkward positions in the strung-out field.

Moonlight Magic (+2500) and Felix The Scat (+7000) added some massive value to exotic players, but they were simply fighting out the minor money, as Shinn pulled the whip with 500m to travel, bursting clear of his rivals to assure a dominant victory in the 2024 Queensland Derby.

Michael Kent (Jnr) was on course to represent the stable and credited his team before praising the brave steer by Shinn.

“He's just flying, credit to the whole team, the horse took the travel well to Queensland,” said Kent (Jnr).

“The query was getting through the wet track, Blake (Shinn) said it was more like a heavy than a soft.

“During the race I'm thinking what are you thinking here Blake, but he just made all the right calls. By putting him into the race and when that leader got away you had to be near the pace. In the end it was just a huge staying performance by the horse.

“He obviously handled the ground very well, he's a kiwi so he was born in it, but he clearly relished the stamina test today.”

Blake Shinn was delighted with the win in his post-race assessment.

“What a great run by that horse,” said Shinn.

“He did it the tough way but he was comfortable. I just wanted to make sure he kept going on his run. He did it tough.

“It was a bit of a track gallop for him. He enjoyed it. He had his ears pricked down the back. He could see Navy King up in front. I asked him to extend from the 500 (metre mark) and he just kept building. I made sure he kept going to the line, but the horse really deserved it.

“He's been putting up some great displays in running second and it was really well deserved. I'm grateful for the ride.”

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