With the form that the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable is in at the moment, any feature race runner they bring to the track is well worth a second glance.
With regard to the $2 million Victoria Derby at Flemington on Saturday, Let’s Karaka Deel is that runner and the exploits of the son of Dundeel will be watched more closely than most by Cameron Bennett, the Queensland based principal of Flying Start Syndications, who syndicated Let’s Karaka Deel after purchasing the colt in New Zealand.
Market 💰: View the Odds for the Victoria Derby
“The first time I went to New Zealand, I had a bit of mail that the Dundeel’s were going well, but they weren’t really out racing at that time,” explained Bennett. “I wasn’t going there just to get one of them, but we really liked this horse. It ticked all of the boxes and passed the vets and we just got her at a price we could afford too. It was just a really nice horse from the start.”
“As far as liking the horse goes, the pre-trainer down in Victoria also liked it. He was pretty keen on the horse straight away. Cairon Maher liked it … but the horse was just immature and in and out for the first few preps, but they always thought he was up to that Saturday class. He was showing that from the start.
“We just looked after him. Obviously, this time of year is a nice time to have a distance horse. We think he will be better again next year like most of them, but he has kept going along nicely enough and he has a chance at a big race, so we are going to have a go at it.”
Let’s Karaka Deel has raced four times. He took just two starts to win shed his maiden ticket when stepping up from a debut run over 1400m to 1600m. He was then unplaced, but only 3.45 lengths back over 1800m at Flemington, and then raised the distance test again turning in an eye-catching performance when finishing second behind Albarado in the Group 3 Neds Classic over 2000m at Caulfield, a notable lead-up race for the Victoria Derby.
Let’s Karaka Deel, who finished as a beaten favourite that day just 0,25 lengths off the winner, currently sits on the fifth line of betting at $10 for the Derby. That respect in the betting markets stems from his steady progress and an increase in distance strategy undertaken to prime him for the big day … a strategy which should put Let’s Karaka Deel’s owners (Flying Start Syndicate 2018 Social Club) right in contention for the $1.2 million first prize.
“We normally allocate twenty shares in our horses,” said Bennett. “We just go to all of the yearling sales and I try and buy between ten and fifteen horses every year … that’s a number I am comfortable buying so that I can syndicate them.
“We have horses with all different trainers from all different places. Most times I don’t buy a certain horse for a certain trainer … it is just what is available at the time and what I can afford … and then I just try to pick the right trainer for the individual horses from there.”
Well, in this case … ‘from there’ … has taken Let’s Karaka Deel on a path that has led to a crack at the Group 1 Victoria Derby.
It won’t be the first Group 1 for the Flying Start Syndication brand. They already put that plaudit behind their name when Amphitrite saluted in the Group 1, 1000 Guineas, also in October, two years ago.
You can bet, the second Group 1, whenever it arrives, will be just as sweet!
Could Saturday be that day?