Angel's Derby Of Truth

5 min read
Angel of Truth can be hailed as the three-year-old staying champion of the autumn after a dominant front running display in the $2 million Group 1 Australian Derby over 2400 metres on the first day of The Championships.

In a highly competitive race with a number of differing form-lines converging to showcase the best 3-year-old stayers from Australia and New Zealand, it was Angel Of Truth (Animal Kingdom {USA}), who was poised to strike.

Having taken out one of the critical lead-up races, Angel Of Truth was able to relish the heavy ground brilliantly when he won the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes over 2000 metres last start. Reported to have pulled up well, he was perfectly prepared to give the high-quality field of staying three-year-old’s a galloping lesson.

“He pulled up so well after the Tulloch, that the decision to continue onto the Doncaster was easy to make." - Jockey Corey Brown

In front of an enthusiastic grandstand, they jumped from the barriers in a great line with Angel Of Truth from gate four handy on the speed, before quickly taking control of the lead throughout the middle of the race.

Coming into the straight, Angel Of Truth never gave them a look in at the 100-metre mark, drawing clear by three from the New Zealand duo of the Baker and Forsman trained Madison County (NZ) (Pins) and Tony Pikes' Surely Sacred (NZ) (Rock 'n Pop) in third.

Recording the second Group 1 win for experienced horse master, the Kembla Grange based trainer Gwenda Markwell, it was the 49th Group 1 win for Angel Of Truth’s pilot Corey Brown.

“He pulled up so well after the Tulloch, that the decision to continue onto the Doncaster was easy to make. Gwenda said I was going to have a lot of fun, and that win was pretty fun,” Brown said. “It was a brilliant training effort.”

Owned and bred by Ron Williams who is the driving force behind the breeding operation Superhorse Trust, he maintained his unwavering faith in his homebred’s ability to back-up, with the Australian Derby-Tulloch Stakes double his most significant successes as an owner.

"What you see in his early race wins over shorter distances was raw ability and he will show his true ability, when he gets out over 2400m." - Owner Ross Williams quoting Gwenda Markwell

Having caught a few by surprise, with the way in which he took out the Tulloch only seven days earlier, both Williams and trainer Gwenda Markwell were far from surprised with how well he handled the 2000 metre distance with ease.

Trainer Gwenda Markwell with racing manager ross McConville following Angel Of Truth's win in the G2 Tulloch S.

Having told TDN AusNZ earlier in the week, Williams recalled a comment made by Markwell on Angel Of truth’s staying ability.

"Gwenda was saying, what you see in his early race wins over shorter distances was raw ability and he will show his true ability, when he gets out over 2400m, even over 2000m, it’s a bit short for him," Williams said.

"As a type, he always looked the Derby type. He doesn’t carry much weight, he's very athletic, and he's on his toes all the time. He doesn’t need much work, and he's got good wind and recovers fast."

A description that matched perfectly with the mounting yard comments only minutes before Derby field jumped.

Identified as a promising stayer with his condition spot on, having not taken a step back after the Tulloch, Angel Of Truth presented in fantastic order. A light-framed athletic stayer, that does not need to hold a lot of condition. He was rock hard fit; pure bone and muscle.

A classic Oaks and Derby pedigree

Pedigree certainly didn’t hold back Angel of Truth, being a son of former Arrowfield shuttler Animal Kingdom (USA) (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}), who won two of the world's biggest races in Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup, Angel of Truth was indeed not lacking in class.

Animal Kingdom

His dam, the Bernardini mare Scarletini, a two-time city winner, was a handy stayer up to 2400 metres and was fourth in the Western Australian Oaks. From the family of blue hen Margarethen, the pedigree boasts many star descendants including champions like Treve, Triptych, Moonlight Cloud, Epsom Derby winner Generous, Epsom Oaks winner Imagine and Caulfield Cup winner Tawqeet.

Williams purchased Angel Of Truth's dam Scarletini for $80,000 at the 2015 National Broodmare Sale. With aspirations of one day breeding a Melbourne Cup winner, Williams was equally interested in the Animal Kingdom foal she was carrying, believing the cross was excellent for getting a Cup runner.

Angel can handle the truth

In charge on a small team of horses, Gwenda Markwell, was humble in her win, and full of praise to Angel Of Truth, while ever so grateful to Williams to allow her to train his horses.

“When I saw him leading at the 1000m mark with his ears pricked, I thought you're going to take a lot of running down." - Trainer Gwenda Markwell

“When I saw him leading at the 1000m mark with his ears pricked, I thought you're going to take a lot of running down. He’s a good horse.” a thrilled Markwell said.

Having trained the Group 1 winner Grand Zulu, this was Markwell’s second chance to win a Derby, as the star three-year-old colt, and Derby hopeful, headed disappointingly over to race in Hong Kong instead.

Blessed to witness one of the most promising locally-bred young stayers seen in Australia, Angel Of Truth’s record has dramatically improved with his impressive Derby and Tulloch stakes success, bringing his stakes record to five wins from eight starts for $1,348,825 in racetrack earnings.