A see-saw group one BMW New Zealand Derby market took another twist yesterday when a tenacious performance from Rangipo saw him take over as the classic favourite.
The Tony Pike-trained three-year-old earned a $5 quote after winning the group two Auckland Eye Avondale Guineas at Ellerslie in a driving finish from Brighton and the dead-heaters Get That Jive and the winner's stablemate Raghu.
"He's an amazing horse as he's been in work a long time and he just keeps turning up," Pike said.
"He'll be back in a fortnight and then he can have a well-earned break."
Rangipo travelled in behind the leaders on the fence and, as he did in winning the group two Waikato Guineas, fought tooth and nail in the straight under Vinnie Colgan.
"Vinnie gave him a great ride with a lovely run in the trail," Pike said. "He's a really honest racehorse and quite a fast one as well!"
Pike was also thrilled with the efforts of Raghu and the filly Provocative, who made late ground for sixth after dropping to the tail of the field from a wide gate.
"Raghu had to work hard from a wide gate and he just needs a good draw for the Derby," he said.
"Provocative got a long way back and she will appreciate the 2400 metres of the Derby. She'll be better for the experience and she should go very well."
TAB bookmakers reacted swiftly to Brighton's performance and slashed his Derby odds from $61 to $8 while Get That Jive and Raghu remain steady at $6 and $12 respectively and Provocative is an $8 chance.
The other market mover is What's The Story, whose gallant defeat of the older horses in the Rutherford Rede 2100 saw him come in from $51 to $18.
The Savabeel colt suffered interference in a melee after the leader Irish broke down, but still came with a sustained finish to press his Derby claims.
"It was a massive performance and I've got a lot of confidence in the horse," trainer Stephen McKee said.
- NZ Racing Desk.