06 August 2017 | Trots Media - Michael Howard
Zac Phillips salutes as Une Belle Allure wins the Victoria Trotters Derby. Photo by Stuart McCormick
A fine filly tipped out the boys and extended a stellar season for the tight-knit trio trainer Anton Golino, owner Pat Driscoll and driver Zac Phillips, who landed the Seelite Windows & Doors Victoria Trotters Derby.
Victorian and New South Wales Oaks winner Une Belle Allure added a crown typically set aside for the boys to her monster three-year-old haul, with Phillips finding the lead from stablemate Dance Craze and controlling the pace to ensure none would run past his Angus Hall filly.
A 28.2 final quarter shut the door and delivered another Group 1 to the 21-year-old, who celebrated with a jubilant salute in front of a hearty Redwood All-Trotting Carnival crowd at Maryborough today.
“She’s unbelievable. She stepped up to the plate every time she’s been asked too,” Phillips said. “She just keeps taking the next step and the next step and continues to surprise me.”
The victory was a sixth career Group 1 win for Phillips, all coming with trotters and all since March 11.
“It’s been an unbelievable year and sort of what you dream about when you step out in this sort of career. You dream about having years like I’ve had,” Phillips said.
“I’ve been very fortunate, my three main stables – Adam Kelly, Anton (Golino) and Paul and Kari Males – sort of stuck with me through thick and thin and it makes such a big difference when you get behind horses like this. They can just take your career to the sky. Just over the moon.”
In today’s Derby, Dance Craze cruised to the front via her great gate speed and then Nathan Jack handed up to Phillips and Une Belle Allure, while fellow stablemate Nieta cruised to the breeze to give Golino the first three runners.
There was little need for haste and the pace was barely quickened when Deltasun slipped past Nieta and into the breeze, with first two quarters of 32.1 and 32.0 preceding a 29.7 third quarter. Three-wide, Kerryn Manning and her newest addition President Roydon poured on the pressure in the dying stages, but the last 100m belonged to Une Belle Allure, who hit the line 2.7m clear of Dance Craze and 3.6m clear of President Roydon.
“There didn’t look to be a hell of a lot of pressure in the race if I did happen to find the front, which I did, and once I found the front it played out as I thought,” Phillips said.
“Nathan (Jack on Dance Craze) was always going to be on my back, but with the run I had he was probably never going to be able to outdo me.
“(Une Belle Allure’s) just got such a great will to win and she’s an unbelievable horse to sit behind, she just has an amazing turn of foot. She’s so versatile, she can sit, she can sprint, she can do it tough, and I think that’s what makes her such a great horse.”
Her 12 starts have now produced seven wins and more than $150,000 in stakes, which have almost all been amassed in her nine-run three-year-old season.
“It’s a dream come true,” Golino said. “(Yabby Dam Farms owner) Pat (Driscoll’s) an amazing person and deserves this more than anyone.
“We were lucky we drew well, in these big races all these horses can go, so to get a good draw was a big advantage at the start. Having said that they got the job done, so we are really happy.”