Gatt Eyes Second Richmond Derby Trophy

MARK Gatt’s bid for a second Richmond Derby gets underway this Friday when Tennessee Tiger steps out in heat three of the Ladbrokes-group 2 event.

Adam Dobbin

27 February 2020

MARK Gatt’s bid for a second Richmond Derby title gets underway this Friday night when Tennessee Tiger steps out in heat three of the Ladbrokes sponsored group 2 event.

Back in 2014, Gatt tasted Richmond Derby glory when Red Road made full use of his box one draw to claim the $40,000 to-the-winner feature in a flying 30.34.

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And with just 18 greyhounds nominated for this year’s Derby series, Gatt is optimistic that his well bred son of Sh Avatar and Jingjing can run his way into next week’s decider.

“He’s well boxed on Friday night out in the eight but he was well boxed on Saturday in the Bulli Cup as well,” Gatt said.

Well supported in Saturday night’s Bulli Gold Cup decider from box eight, Tennessee Tiger made up plenty of ground late when finishing fourth to Pindari Express.

“I knew we were in big trouble the second I put him in the boxes,” Gatt admitted.

“He has this habit of standing up in the boxes which he did Saturday. He can come out but when he stands up like he did at Bulli he misses it.

“The more work you do with him to fix it the worse it gets so you just pray that he comes out now; he can on his night and hopefully he does on Friday.”

Winner at 10 of his 27 starts and responsible for some sensational times, Tennessee Tiger has been installed $2.60 favourite with Beteasy, just ahead of Group 1 National Derby winner Oh Mickey at $2.65 for trainer Clint Kratzmann.

Sitting on the third line of betting at $3.60 is Jason Magri’s boom sprinter Zipping Zeek, the son of Zulu Zeus a recent Richmond winner in 30.38.

“If my dog comes out he’ll run his 30.40 and to win that heat he’ll need to looking at the race,” Gatt added.

“The way I see the race is the Queensland dog (Oh Mickey) leading and it being a race to second between my dog and Zipping Zeek. I reckon whoever gets to second will probably win but the Queensland dog did run 29.60 at Albion Park last week. It’s a hot race.”

With $40,000 up for grabs to next week’s winning connections, Gatt was as surprised as anyone that just 18 nominations were received for the group 2 showpiece.

“I put it down to the programming,” Gatt said.

“You’ve got the Australian Cup and Horsham Cup on in Melbourne and I just saw they got five heats for the Temora Cup and it’s worth a quarter of what the Richmond Derby is worth.

“In saying that the final at Richmond will still be red hot. It’ll take a fast run to win it.”

In the opening heat on Friday Victorian chaser Aston Wizard holds favouritism from his box two draw for trainer Glenn Rounds at $2.60, while in the second qualifier King Cratos is all the rage at $1.75.

The Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner is one of three Derby hopefuls for Jason Magri, the Kemps Creek conditioner eyeing back-to-back Richmond Derby wins after Catch Me Curly took out last year’s series in stylish fashion.