One of the most popular horses in Joe Pride’s stable is also his own worst enemy.
The talented New Tipperary, who puts his Queensland Derby credentials to the test at Rosehill on Saturday, has given himself and his trainer a couple of headaches.
“We call him the people’s champ,” Pride said.
“He’s had broken eye socket and a broken jaw in separate accidents.
“We have no idea how they happened. Both times he’s been in his box and we’ve discovered it when we’ve gone in.
“But he’s come back and raced well. He is a very likeable horse.”
New Tipperary will run in a benchmark race for three-year-olds and, if he can win, the Group One Derby (2400m) on June 11 comes into play.
“He would have to win impressively to go to the Derby,” Pride said.
“But at this time of year a horse can emerge out of these races down here and do well in Queensland.”
Despite his mishaps, New Tipperary has shown his ability with three wins from his five starts, his most recent at Canterbury on May 11.
He is a $26 chance in the Derby with the Chris Waller-trained Mackintosh the $2.80 favourite courtesy of his win in the Group Three Rough Habit Plate at Doomben on May 14 when he beat Cylinder Beach by 2-3/4 lengths.
The Desleigh Forster-trained Cylinder Beach is on the second line of Derby betting at $7 alongside the Waller-trained Encosta Line and South Australian Derby winner Howard Be Thy Name from the Darren Weir stable.
Melbourne trainer Ciaron Maher is another trainer considering a Derby start with a midweek winner.
“I have a promising horse called Havard who won at Geelong last Tuesday. I think he might make the trip north for the Derby,” Maher said.
“Havard won by six lengths in fast time, but it was on the synthetic track.”