Nangar Jim Chasing Derby Delight At Ballarat

NSW one-turn specialist Nangar Jim is chasing some Victorian cash on Wednesday when he lines up in the Western Districts Derby at Ballarat.

THE Group 2 Ballarat Cup later this month is the Victorian "grand final" for Nangar Jim, but regular trainer Joe McFadyen is optimistic the classy NSW visitor can pick up Wednesday night's Listed Western Districts Derby (450m) on the way through.

Nangar Jim was sent to champion mentor David Geall for his dual feature raid on Ballarat after qualifying for last month's Group 1 Golden Easter Egg Final.

However, the son of Aston Dee Bee and Nangar Silk's one-turn credentials are even more impressive.

Nangar Jim's 15 career victories are highlighted by the Group 2 Maitland Gold Cup and Group 3 Temora Cup, while he was runner-up in both the Group 2 Bulli and Group 3 Goulburn Cups.

"We're always planning what's ahead for him and there wasn't a hell of a lot on in NSW," McFadyen explained.

"I said to the boys that own him that it was a good chance to send him down to Melbourne for a month and we can also see how he measures up for later on.

"He's a bombproof dog and I could've travelled down with him each week, but that wouldn't have been fair to the rest of the kennel.

"Whenever I've spoken to David Geall he's been a gentleman in every sense of the word and he's won his fair share of country cups too!"

After missing the kick when sixth at his Ballarat debut, Nangar Jim started $2.40 favourite in his heat of the $20,000 to-the-winner Derby last Wednesday.

This time he came out running, but was claimed late by Yogen Bale, beaten a length in a slick 25.00.

"Wherever he goes, he keeps improving after three or four looks," McFadyen said.


"After the Derby, the heats of the Ballarat Cup are on the following week (Sunday, May 26), so it was a good opportunity to give him a few looks at Ballarat.

"It was nice to see him begin in his heat.

"The dog that ran him down (Yogen Bale) is apparently a super-strong dog that found himself in a more forward position than he usually is.

"I think he can find two or three lengths again, but he'll need to.

"We're under no illusions that he has to improve to win the race."

Michelle Mallia's country cups-winning duo Matt Loch (box 1) and Fernando Phil (box 6) are clearly the major threats to Nangar Jim's Derby aspirations.

Matt Loch's 24.83 performance was the fastest of the five heats, while Fernando Phil ran 24.99.

Nangar Jim has drawn box eight, from where he boasts five wins from seven starts, highlighted by his race record 24.77 Maitland Cup triumph.

"You could say he's drawn his box," McFadyen said.

"But I don't really think inside or outside matters with him.

"It's more the shape of the race around him. He just needs a bit of clear air off the mat to put the pedal down.

"He'll need to get his skates on early to cross the red (Matt Loch). It's a serious dog, the favourite.

"But he does have the first and second section records at Maitland and if you're in front, you're always a chance.

"The Ballarat Cup is his grand final, so whatever he does on Wednesday night will be a bonus."

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