Victorian galloper Sonntag delivered his up-and-coming young trainer Henry Dwyer his first Group 1 victory on Saturday when winning the BRC Queensland Derby over 2400m at Eagle Farm.
The win gave Australian sired runners the feat of taking out every Derby conducted this season in Australasia; Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart, Perth, Adelaide, Auckland and Brisbane.
Sonntag (Teofilo x Parfaits) was running for more than just his normal connections, with the ownership group agreeing to donate 5% of any prizemoney earned in the Derby to Riding For The Disabled Victoria.
Good luck shined on Saturday, as Chad Schofield guided the three-year-old to a neck victory over Pinstripe Lane and the fast finishing Vilanova.
“I am just wrapped to be here and I am just really pleased to share that with some good friends and great people,” said trainer Henry Dwyer.
“I said to the owners before he even raced for us that I thought he would stay and best case scenario we’d have a runner in the Queensland Derby. It turns out that he has just jumped every obstacle and here we are today.”
Dwyer, who has only been training in his own right for 11 months, purchased Sonntag as a tried horse from Darley’s draft at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne August Thoroughbred Sale for $58,000.
“I have had success with tried horses previously. Darley horses have some of the best pedigrees and confirmation around so you just know that you are guaranteed a class animal,” Dwyer told Racing Victoria earlier in the week.
“He had shown potential in three starts for Darley and gave me the impression that he may develop into a nice staying type, as he is such a naturally athletic horse, and we managed to pick him up for $58,000.
“I gelded him straight away but he then had a few issues, in fact he got very sick there for a while but that may have proven a blessing in disguise as it meant that I have had to take my time with him.
“There is a lovely group of owners involved, some are having their first experience in racehorse ownership, and they want to share that enjoyment as much as possible,” added the 30-year-old.
Connections will certainly enjoy the $320,000 first place prizemoney from today’s Derby – of which $13,600 will go to the much deserved Riding For The Disabled Victoria.