Queensland Derby Day is upon us punters and a quick look through the form will see the race is dominated by our friends over the ditch!
The Winter Carnival is often raided by horses trained out of New Zealand, and 2022 is certainly no different.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and look at the top 5 Kiwi Raiders who’ve enjoyed the Queensland sun on their backs.
1. Rough Habit
This bloke absolutely loved the Winter Carnival! How about a win in the Queensland Derby, two wins in the Stradbroke and a record three victories in the Doomben Cup?! Unreal.
The locals adored him too, adopting him as one of their own. The gelding now has a Stakes Race named in his honour for 3-year-olds.
By the way, his win in the 1992 Stradbroke is a must watch.
Ethereal was a special, special filly. In 2001, Ethereal crossed the ditch to take the Winter Racing Carnival by storm, culminating in a win in the Queensland Oaks over 2400m.
Later that year, she joined an elite list of mares, winning the Cups double (the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups).
3. The Bostonian
This lightly raced gelding started his career in New Zealand without a lot of success, but thoroughly enjoyed his two trips to the Winter Carnival.
Starting as a $40 shot in the 2019 Doomben 10,000, The Bostonian found a stack of traffic over the final couple of furlongs but managed to weave his way through to victory to the dismay of a lot of punters.
He then backed it up a fortnight later, taking out the Kingsford Smith Cup.
4. Melody Belle
Whilst she may not have picked up a Group 1 victory in Queensland, Melody Belle enjoyed a couple of trips to the Winter Carnival, tasting success at Group 2 level.
There’s no doubting her superstar status though, winning fourteen Group 1’s in New Zealand and Australia.
5. Royal Magic
Back in 1992, Royal Magic, trained by NZ Hall of Famer Dave O’Sullivan and ridden by his son Lance, won the Queensland Oaks and then backed up a week later – beating the boys in the Queensland Derby.
Fast-forward 30 years and Lance is training the 2022 favourite, Dark Destroyer. How bloody good would that be if he got the chocolates?