A Derby dream which turned into a nightmare for owners Glenn and Lisa Morton could finally become a reality following Coco Dubawi’s commanding victory at Eagle Farm.
The well-bred three-year-old was having only his third Queensland start for Eagle Farm trainer Bruce Brown when the son of Dubawi broke through for a three-quarters of a length win in Wednesday’s Sky Racing Maiden Plate (2225m).
Coco Dubawi started his career with Sydney trainer Gary Portelli after being knocked down to Gold Coast trainer John Wallace for $32,000 at the 2009 Magic Millions yearling sales.
“John passed him on to us and we sent him to Gary Portelli to train in Sydney,” Glenn Morton said.
“Gary had a good opinion of him and at one stage we thought he was a (AJC Australian) Derby horse but it turned into a nightmare.
“Maybe it’s our dream again now.”
The Mortons also own New Zealand’s Group One Railway Stakes winner Gold Trail who hit the international trail last year finishing fourth in the Group One KrisFlyer International Sprint in Singapore and 10th in the Group One King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in England.
Morton said Coco Dubawi had feet problems early in his career which derailed hopes of him being a (AJC Australian) Derby proposition this year.
“Lisa and I decided the horse needed more hands-on care so we sent him to Bruce Brown to train,” Morton said.
“He showed a lot of promise in Sydney after he was broken in but unfortunately he had a few issues and didn’t produce.
“Bruce has done a great job since he’s had him and we might look at the Derby here with him but he’ll need to step up and win again in Saturday grade.”
The Group One Queensland Derby (2400m) will be run at Eagle Farm in June.
Brown was reluctant to commit to any major plans during the Brisbane winter carnival with Coco Dubawi whose mother Coco Cobanna won the Group One AJC Oaks (2400m) at Randwick in 2000.
Coco Cobanna also won the Group One The Metropolitan at Randwick the same year before failing in the Caulfield Cup, Mackinnon Stakes and Melbourne Cup.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained daughter of Casual Lies finished her career with seven wins from 24 starts and more than $1 million in prizemoney.
Coco Cobanna hasn’t done as well at stud with Coco Dubawi only her second winner from four of her six foals to race.