Commentator George Simon will be the first to admit he didn’t cover himself in glory in the final stages of his call on the Gr.3 Inglis Sales Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m), but he had good reason as Denby Road, the horse that he and wife Maryanne bred and race, saluted in the Group Three feature.
The giant three-year-old son of Shamexpress, who stands over 17 hands high, was having his first start since finishing midfield in the Gr.2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) back in February and paraded in tip top order for trainer Shelley Hale.
Simon had lost an argument with Hale and his wife as to where their charge should kick off his new campaign and after being over-ruled, he had the pleasure of witnessing rider Ryan Elliot produce a gem to burst between runners at the 200m and hold out the late challenge of Petrucci to collect career win number two and his first at stakes level.
Hale admitted they have held the horse in high regard since his early days and the victory justified that opinion.
“We’ve always had a pretty big opinion of him and we know he is quick, but as he wanted to stretch out a little it was the natural thing to try and get him to the Derby (Gr.1, 2400m),” Hale said.
“He was tired after the Waikato Guineas so we were going to put him away until he was four, but he spelled so well that I said to George and Maryanne ‘what about the Breeders’ Stakes’ as it is our home race.
“He is just phenomenal, as when we were working him as a two-year-old, he just did every little thing we asked of him and he is just a natural talent.
“I think he is something a bit special.”
Elliot was delighted with the result and taken by the way Denby Road travelled throughout the contest.
“He travelled up nicely into the race and we managed to get the gap and get through it at the right time,” he said.
“He actually came to the end of his run 50m out, so he had to find the last bit and it was a really good run from him.
“He was able to jump away well with them and he pulled me into the race.
“We just had to find room as he is a pretty big horse.”
Denby Road is out of the Align mare Dwandaofu, a daughter of Indomitable who is the dam of multiple Group One winner and now successful stallion Turn Me Loose, whom the Simons also bred.
He becomes the ninth individual stakes winner for his sire Shamexpress who stands alongside Turn Me Loose at Windsor Park Stud in Cambridge