Young Werther (NZ) (Tavistock) showed he has the potential to follow in his namesakes footsteps when winning over 1500m on debut at Geelong on Sunday.
Named after another son of Tavistock, former Hong Kong Horse of the Year and Hong Kong Derby (2000m) winner Werther, Young Werther showed a brilliant turn of foot in the final furlong of his race to record a 1-1/4 length victory.
Trainer Danny O’Brien, a well-known advocate of the speed gene test, was delighted with the win and said the gelding surpassed expectations over 1500m.
“He is a horse we did enough with as a two-year-old, he had a couple of jump outs,” he said.
“He is a T:T long, which means he needs a mile-and-a-half to show his best.
“We sent him there (Geelong) without huge expectations, just to ride him to hit the line, but he certainly produced.”
O’Brien was buoyed by what he saw and he is now eyeing a path towards the Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m) in November with the three-year-old who is rated a $17 chance for the Flemington feature.
“He is really promising and potentially we might get him towards the Derby this spring,” he said.
“I thought he may be an autumn Derby horse, but that was really impressive.
“He will have no problem running the trip and he has got good, strong acceleration for a horse who has also go plenty of stamina.”
Young Werther was purchased by O’Brien, in partnership with Aquis Farm, out of Cambridge Stud’s 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft for $140,000 and is out of the winning Fastnet Rock mare Romantic Time.
Cambridge Stud’s late stallion Tavistock is well represented by VRC Derby prospects, with Deepstrike, Johnny Get Angry, Captain Corelli and Wertheimer featuring prominently in early markets, in addition to Young Werther.