A perfectly executed ride by J B Hamel has given Nick Moore his second Group victory, with Australian-bred Hostwin Achilles (Deep Field) taking out Saturday's Derby Trial (MAC Gr 3, 1500m), defeating his much more fancied stablemate Circuit Miles (Luis Corrales), in the race. The win handed Newgate Farm-based sire Deep Field (Northern Meteor) his ninth stakes winner.
Moore was bullish all week about the chances of Circuit Miles (Fastnet Rock), the horse that he has set for the Macau Derby (MAC Gr 1, 1800m), with Hostwin Achilles ending up in the race purely as an afterthought.
“I’m absolutely stoked, what a surprise that was; and to quinella the race as well,” said Moore.
"I do think Circuit Miles should have won, only bad luck beat him, but I am thrilled with the win by Hostwin Achilles and so happy for the owners Mr and Mrs Tam Jason (Tam) has been a huge supporter of mine, and was also a great supporter of my father as well.
“We won the Guineas with Hostwin Saturn last year a Group 1 race, and now we’ve got a Group 3 with this horse.
“Initially I wasn’t going to run him, as he is by Deep Field and more of a 1200 metre sprinter; he can get a bit hot and fired up. But the way he ran on late in his last run over 1200 metres, I thought well the race is for four-year-olds and I’ll just give it a shot.
“But I’ve got to say, that I never expected him to be knocking off my main runner Circuit Miles, but J B (Hamel) gave him a beautiful ride. He found cover and got him to relax and just hit the front right at the right time.”
From barrier six Hamel parked Hostwin Achilles in fifth spot one off the rails with cover on the back of Cherry Road (Niagara). Initially wanting to over race in the early stages, the Frenchman got the gelding to switch off and relax beautifully.
A crucial move from the six hundred mark by Cherry Road who went forward to sit outside the leader, ultimately proved to be the undoing of Circuit Miles. Hamel followed Cherry Road forward and that put him alongside Circuit Miles and kept him locked away on the back of the leader. Timing his move to perfection Hamel set his mount alight at the 250 mark and sprinted quickly to hit the lead, Corrales on Circuit Miles was held up momentarily and had to wait until Hamel went to find clear running.
Circuit Miles really lifted late and cut the margin back to a half-length on the wire, in what was a great run from a Derby viewpoint. Race favorite Beauty Bolt ran on strongly for third, a further half-length away after having to come wide from the six hundred to get into the race. Both Circuit Miles and Beauty Bolt (Redoute’s Choice) will relish the Derby trip of 1800 metres.
Hostwin Achilles was originally with Team Snowden at Rosehill where he raced as Devan, placing in four of his six starts around the provincials. The horse was then sold and ended up in the hands of Adam Duggan at Gosford, who won two races from three starts with the chestnut at Quirindi and Taree.
“My brother James sourced the horse for me,” Moore said. “He was well-bred and we initially bought him to sprint. He was very high strung and nervous when he arrived, and would run his races before he started. I’ve just taken my time with him trying to get him to relax, I changed his feed and we take him walking around a lot in the evenings to give him a pick of grass and relax him. He’s really turned a corner of late.
“I’ll run both him and Circuit Miles in the Guineas, but I can’t see Hostwin Achilles in the Derby. I couldn’t see him getting 1800 metres, but Circuit Miles will love it.”
Hostwin Achilles is one of six winners and two stakes winners out of Allegra (Dehere), the other being Listed winner Eximus (Exceed And Excel). His second dam is What Fun (Canny Lad), dam of Listed winner Cat d’Antibes (Tale Of The Cat) and the dam of Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) winner Mossfun (Mossman).
Deep Field’s stakes winners are headed by Oakleigh Plate (Gr 1, 1100m) winner Portland Sky and also include four Group 2 winners in Cosmic Force, Dig Deep, Xilong and Quantum Mechanic.