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Don Eduardo becomes Zabeel's 20th Group One winner

Don Eduardo (Zabeel-Diamond Lover by Sticks & Stones) met the pressure of his $3.6 million price-tag with a last-stride victory in the $A2 million San Miguel AJC Australian Derby 2400m G1 at Randwick yesterday.

Fellow Kiwi-bred Carnegie Express (Carnegie) was a courageous second, almost taking the race after jockey Jim Cassidy sent him to the front 900 metres from home. This gave Don Eduardo what he needed - something to chase and a long straight to do it in - but he only made it by a head, with Pentastic (Australian-bred but by Rich Hill Stud's Pentire) a fighting third, one-and-a-half lengths away. There was satisfaction that in a field from which so many star three-year-olds were absent, the three best starters dominated the finish.

Don Eduardo became Zabeel's 20th individual Group One winner and his third winner at that level this season, after Dress Circle (AJC The Metropolitan) and Greene Street (Avondale Gold Cup). He is also the third Group One winner by Zabeel from the Eight Carat family, after Octagonal and Mouawad, and Zabeel's third AJC Derby winner, after Octagonal (1996) and Sky Heights (1999).

Don Eduardo's breeders, Sir Patrick and Justine, Lady Hogan of Cambridge Stud have had a quiet-ish few seasons as breeders (though not as owners or vendors) after winning the third of their three New Zealand Breeder of the Year titles in 1996-97. This season, however, the Hogans also figure as the breeders of G2 Maythehorsebewithu, SW Taimana and Eagle Rhythm, Group One-placed Sursum Corda, Group 2-placed Primrose Sands and stakes-placed performers Maggie, Majestically and Makarova.



- Susan Archer