Prosecutor wears the Derby crown

4 min read
Crown Prosecutor caused a massive boilover to win the G1 Vodafone NZ derby at Ellerslie, providing a timely pedigree update for a Street Boss filly going through the Inglis Premier Sale on Tuesday.

Stephen Marsh may have been one of the few people at Ellerslie to have given Crown Prosecutor (Medaglia D'Oro {USA}) any hope of an upset win in the G1 New Zealand Derby on Saturday.

But his faith in the promising stayer, who started at odds of $101, was vindicated when a clever and determined ride from Craig Grylls got the outsider home in a thrilling finish from In A Twinkling (Fastnet Rock).

A $50,000 purchase out of the Melbourne Premier Sale by Bruce Perry on behalf of Lib Petagna, who races the colt with Huntingdon Lodge’s Harvey and Linda Green, Crown Prosecutor's pedigree looks more that of a sprinter than a stayer, but in a muddling run race, he showed the better turn of foot and defy the punters' expectations.

Marsh, who also saddled up the $10 chance Vernanme (O'Reilly {NZ}), always felt Crown Prosecutor, who had won the G3 Wellington S. at Otaki earlier this preparation, was a chance at causing an upset.

“We had him hard fit ready and I said to Craig to go forward as he can out-tough them,” Marsh said. “Nothing had gone right for us last start and he was a stakes winner."

“He (Grylls) rode him perfectly as they went hard and he sat in behind them, so it was a great win.”

"We had him hard fit ready and I said to Craig to go forward as he can out-tough them." - Trainer Stephen Marsh

It was an emotional success for Marsh, who emulated his father Bruce, who won the 2000 edition of the blue riband feature with Hail (NZ) (Stark South {USA}).

“It just feels outstanding,” he said.

“He was one of the roughies of the race and we know how hard it is to even have a horse in the Derby."

“I don’t usually get given colts to train and we have, so this is the race you want to win as it’s the best race on the calendar. I’m just rapt, I’m blown away.”

Crown Prosecutor returning to scale after winning the G1 NZ Derby

Cool Grylls

Grylls strength came to the fore when Glen Boss on the Jamie Richards trained In a Twinkling raced up to challenge him with 200m to go. He dug deep to get the colt home and claim his ninth Group 1 win and his first in three years.

“Emotions are pretty high,” he said. “He had won a stakes race before, but his form wasn’t the best coming in."

Jockey Craig Grylls

“He’s been a little off the boil, but Stephen and his team have done a great job and I couldn’t believe it."

“The plan was to go forward but he was green down the straight the first time as he tried to duck out a couple of times. He was good when he got a bit of cover and they didn’t go overly hard."

“Turning in he travelled up underneath me then he just kept grinding away and fought it out to the line.”

Timing great for little sister

Through Blue Gum Farm, his half sister by Street Boss (USA) is being offered as Lot 414 at this week's Melbourne Premier Sale at Oaklands Junction.

His dam Riptide (Exceed and Excel), the three-quarter sister to Headwater and Kulgrinda, was bought by Belmont Bloodstock on behalf of Oakland Park Stud’s Neville and Susan Duncan for $150,000 in 2017.

She had a colt by Frosted (USA) last October and is now in foal to Demerit.

Lot 414 Street Boss (USA) x Riptide

A twinkle short

Boss said In A Twinkling, was just outdone by a tougher horse on the day

“I was three-wide with cover for most of the race and I started to edge forward at the half-mile as he’s that type of horse," Boss said.

“I felt like I had the winner beat the whole length of the straight, but he kept fighting back and pulling out a little more, so full credit to him.”

The Lisa Latta trained Platinum Invador (NZ) (Redwood {GB}) was very game in third, while the heavily favoured Surely Sacred (NZ) (Rock N' Pop) finished fifth after not having a lot of luck.