Successive wins for Young Werther

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  • September 11, 2023
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Multiple Group One performer Young Werther has relished racing in lesser-grade, with the Danny O’Brien-trained son of Tavistock lumping 61.5kgs to score in the Strathmore Community Bendigo Bank Handicap (2040m) at The Valley on Saturday.

From an inside draw, Young Werther was given the perfect run behind the leader Future History and ran out a comfortable winner under jockey Billy Egan in what was a sedately run affair.

The six-year-old gelding has now made it successive wins, having won at Flemington in July, with his only other career victory coming on debut over 1500m at Geelong in September 2020.

Group One placed in both the VRC Derby (2500m) and Australian Derby (2400m), Young Werther has also been placed in the past two editions of the Gr.1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).

The Kiwi-bred galloper will now be aimed at the Turnbull Stakes for the third time in his career, with the set weights plus penalties feature to be run at Flemington on October 7.

“It is great for the owners. They were really patient from the maiden victory to his second win at his last-start at Flemington and for him to go back-to-back is great for them and for the stable as well,” stable representative Jack Howard said.

“I think Billy might be the winning factor, with two from two on him, so good luck getting him off. The horse seems to really run for him

“We will see how he is when he gets home but if he comes through it well the plan is to see him in the Turnbull in four weeks.”

Jockey Billy Egan said it was relatively simple from the inside barrier.

“All I wanted to do was hold the box seat and just follow them up with his big weight and give him an easy time,” Egan said.

“It was probably similar circumstances to Flemington last-start – sit right on the back of them and give him as little work to do and hope that he would drive through late.

“He has dropped back a fair bit in grade and that is why he is carrying a big weight. He has gone around in Group Ones and now he is going around in handicap races. Credit to the team. A good gap between runs, he is very fit and he is happy.”

Now the winner of three of his 24 starts, with a further eight placings, Young Werther has amassed A$1,387,050 in prizemoney.

Young Werther was purchased out of Cambridge Stud’s 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft by trainer Danny O’Brien, in partnership with Aquis Farm, for $140,000.

Out of the winning Fastnet Rock mare Romantic Time, Young Werther is a half-brother to stakes-placed Romantic Lady and three-time winner Villaden. – NZ Racing Desk

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