TASMANIAN trainer Adam Trinder celebrated his biggest win since taking out his licence three years ago when Jerilderie Letter scored a courageous win in the $100,000 Schweppes Tasmanian Derby over 2200m at UBET Park Hobart yesterday.
Jerilderie Letter had to show all the fighting qualities his trainer believed he possessed to emerge triumphant ahead of the Darren Weir-trained Howard Be Thy Name that hit the front 100m from home.
But Trinder’s gelded son of Bushranger refused to wilt and fought back under strong riding to regain the lead and score by a neck with Al Shameel a further five lengths back.
“I’ve gone on record as saying the easy part for an opponent of this horse is to get to him but it’s another matter getting past him and he really showed those fighting qualities today,” Trinder said.
“This is probably my greatest achievement as a trainer because I purchased the horse as a yearling and he’s always been in my training system and he also spells at my farm.
“He is such a kind-natured horse that strolls around without a care in the world but when he’s in a race, he is all business,” he said.
In the small field of six, the Patrick Payne-trained Al Shameel led early as expected with Siorca second and the favourite trailing two lengths behind.
Al Shameel’s rider Steven Arnold tried to pinch the race and upped the tempo 600m out giving Jerilderie Letter’s rider Anthony Darmanin a few anxious moments.
But when eased out three-wide to make his move, the favourite sprinted to the lead and 200m out he was being hailed the winner.
But under strong riding from Brad Rawiller, Howard Be Thy Name seemed to slip into another gear and 100m out he looked set to win, only to fall victim to Jerilderie Letter’s incredible will to win.
“My horse was gallant in defeat and it was his first try beyond 1600m but he simply wasn’t good enough on the day. I think the winner is a very good three-year-old,” Rawiller said.
The Derby winner earned ballot-free entry into the Launceston Cup (2400m) in three weeks but Trinder said he would most likely be sent for a well-deserved spell.
“I’m not one to make firm decisions on race day but realistically I think he’s done a magnificent job and deserves a break,” Trinder said.
C/o Peter Staples
Jockey Anthony Darmanin on Tasmanian Derby winner Jerilderie Letter (right) has time for a sneaky peek across the line at Howard Be Thy Name. Picture: SAM ROSEWARNE