Best Odds with Top Tote+ and Bet Back Offers!
Register at Australia's #1 Online Bookmaker!
Back A Winner!
Sign-Up to Australia's Fastest Growing Online Bookmaker!
Back Yourself!
Sign-up and start betting with Ladbrokes in 2 minutes!
Best Of The Best Odds!
Bet With Palmerbet and get Paid Top Fluc or Top Tote!
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
Image: Natasha Morello

It was only four months ago former AFL coach Denis Pagan was granted a trainers’ licence and since then he has made an extraordinary transition to his late-career passion.

Pagan has already trained a city winner and on Saturday at Flemington, he finds himself with a runner in the Group One Victoria Derby.

He will be taking on trainers of the calibre of Melbourne Cup-winners Danny O’Brien and Mike Moroney, as well as Mick Price and Trent Busuttin, when Johnny Get Angry becomes just his 12th starter in a race.

Success is something Pagan is used to as he won two AFL premierships as North Melbourne coach in 1996 and 1999.

He also won five under-19 premierships with the Kangaroos and an Essendon reserves premiership as a coach.

During his time in the AFL, Pagan was rarely emotive but he is when it comes to having a Victoria Derby runner.

“I’m very excited. It’s a bit of a dream come true,” the 73 year-old said.

Pagan said he had raced a lot of slow horses over a 30-year period as an owner before he took out a trainers’ licence.

“I started with eight horses in work and he’s the last one standing,” he said.

Pagan said he couldn’t thank fellow trainer Troy Corstens enough for letting him indulge his desire to try his luck as a thoroughbred conditioner.

Pagan sublets boxes at Troy and Leon Corstens’ Malua stables at Flemington and he has access to their staff, veterinary surgeon and farriers.

Troy Corstens also purchased Johnny Get Angry for $50,000 as a yearling in New Zealand on Pagan’s behalf.

Pagan said he’s certain that Johnny Get Angry, who is by Tavistock out of a Zabeel mare, will run the 2500 metres of the Derby right out.

“He’ll keep on going. It’s just a matter of how fast he does it,” he said.

Pagan has added blinkers for the first time and a barrier extension to the giant gelding for the 2020 Victoria Derby.

Johnny Get Angry finished third to Cherry Tortoni in the Vase at Moonee Valley last Saturday when he missed the start by four lengths.

Jockey Lachlan King told Pagan the horse went up in the air at the start as his back legs were touching the rear of the stalls.

Pagan has stuck with King in the Derby and says he is happy to give the hoop his chance at Group One level as he has been a great help to him.

Johnny Get Angry is yet to win a race but three maidens have saluted in the Derby in the past 30 years – Fire Oak (1990), Redding (1992) and Preferment (2014).

*Existing customers only. 2nd Racing bet. Excl SA & WA. T’s & C’s apply. Gamble responsibly.
Featured News

Free Racing Bonus Bets and Offers

We take a look at the BIGGEST and BEST Free Daily Racing Offers and Betting Promotions from Australia’s leading online...

Alligator Blood’s trainer and owners part ways

Trainer David Vandyke will not be the trainer of star Queensland galloper Alligator Blood when the horse returns. David Vandyke...

Railway Stakes results and replay – 2020

View the results and replay for the 2020 Railway Stakes. The Railway Stakes was raced at Ascot racecourse on 21/11/2020....

Tokoriki Lad wins in unusual fashion

Punters watching the last race at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday did a quick double-take and then they still had...

The Gong results and replay – 2020

View the results and replay for the 2020 The Gong. The Gong was raced at Kembla Grange racecourse on 21/11/2020....

Ballarat Cup results and replay – 2020

View the results and replay for the 2020 Ballarat Cup. The Ballarat Cup was raced at Ballarat racecourse on 21/11/2020....

Star Queenslander Rothfire recovering well

For Rothfire, the Group 1 Golden Rose, back on September 26, was meant to be the final stepping-stone towards participation...

Connections turn down huge money for exciting stayer

Connections of exciting stayer Ain’tnodeeldun have turned down big money from Hong Kong interests. Co-trainer Sam Freedman has confirmed offers...

Racing officials reviewing use of whip

A study commissioned by the RSPCA has put the issue of whip use back in the spotlight after it found...

Stud career looms for Cox Plate winner

A stud career for Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet is nearing although trainer Ciaron Maher will look to add a...

Winterbottom Stakes

The is a  race held at each year over and is known to be Western Australia’s premier sprint event. The race...

Australian Bookmaker Reviews

Which bookmaker should you bet with? We Review each of the leading online Australian Bookmakers and rate them in order...

Copyright © 2020 Just Horse Racing.
All rights reserved - Privacy Policy

Gamble Responsibly 18+
*State exclusions apply to some offers. Please check T&Cs of each offer with the bookmaker. All Offers Exclude NSW residents.
18+ Don't let the game play you. Stay in control. Gamble responsibly. Think! About your choices. Call Gambling Help on 1800 858 858 or visit or