Pedro Lee Wins NZ Derby Thriller

PEDRO Lee defied his rivals to run him down in Thursday’s running of the rich $45,000 New Zealand Derby (457m) at the Cambridge Raceway.

Peter Fenemor

16 April 2021

PEDRO Lee defied his rivals to run him down in Thursday’s running of the $45,000 New Zealand Derby at Cambridge Raceway.

They couldn’t.

The Peter Ferguson mentored son of Aston Dee Bee and One Cold Foot overcame some early traffic issues after stepping from the four-trap.

Once balanced up, he dictated the pace to his rivals, returning 25.47s for his Group 1 victory.

“To win a Derby in any code is very satisfying, especially when you are working with young animals,” reflected the dual coded industry participant Ferguson.

“Yes, I was a bit concerned when they came out in a line, then felt relief when I saw the blue rug push forward. I thought when Pedro had three-lengths on them turning for home that he had the Derby won. He had to be brave as he copped a bit early on.

“I am so pleased for the dog and also extra pleased for Greg,” he said about his former Cambridge training partner and mate Greg Hore.

Hore returned across the ditch a couple of years ago where he is now the track curator at Goulburn. He has regularly sourced competitive greyhounds for clients in the Ferguson kennels.

On this occasion Hore has retained the ownership in Pedro Lee.

“To win a NZ Derby for Greg is very satisfying. He taught me all about training and looking after greyhounds. Greg thought that Pedro Lee had more to offer than he had been showing, so he sent him over here where he has reacted positively to the finish on lure. 

“Greg has been going through a rough streak with family illness – this win certainly is a great tonic for the family.

“Yes it was a long, but great evening for us,” added Ferguson who was finally able to wind down around 11pm when returning home soaking wet and cover in mud as he says, “The joys of racing,” after driving in numerous harness races during the dual code meeting with rain falling over the later part of the evening.  

The Lisa and Tracey Craik prepared race favourite Portland Berty dwelt at the jump when exiting from the one-trap. He punched forward to boldly chasse after the tearaway pacemaker closing to within half a length from the victor.  

Extending strongly during the run home to nail third a further 1.5 lengths astern was Speed Machine for Lisa Cole.

There were three Group 2 titles decided in what was a premier evening of chasing action hosted by the Waikato GRC.

Shaynee confirmed her status as the nation’s leading stayer when after stalking the pace-setters she let down strongly to clear away for her effortless victory, clocking a superb 42.36s for her 747m assignment in the Theresa McDonald Memorial staying event.

Lisa Cole was expected to provide the winner of the Angus Wright Memorial dash over 375m. She did, although not with the warmly favoured Trojan Hoarse who suffered from a degree of early jostling during the early rush.

Big Time Fairy skipped around the outer from her eight-trap draw to stylishly prevail in 21s flat in the Angus Wright Memorial.

The Lois Henley Trophy was controlled throughout by the Cole prepared Big Time Lantao who showed a clean set of hind paws to her 457m rivals when scampering to her 25.45s victory.

The classy Federal Morgan claimed 457m time honours for the evening when he secured his 12th New Zealand victory, annexing the South Waikato Cup in a tidy 25.13s.

He was one of seven winners prepared from the powerful Lisa Cole kennel during the feature evening of racing.