Gordon Gets Back to Best

Gordon Roberts (Encosta De Lago x Gordon’s, by Kaapstad) got his NZ Derby aspirations back on track when winning the BNZ Partners Maiden (1600m) today at Matamata.

Raced in the same colours as fellow Derby contender Martial Art (Tiger Hill), Gordon Roberts too is trained by Mark Walker for Peter and Philip Vela, Trevor Farmer and Mark Wyborn.

Placing as a two-year-old on debut, Gordon Roberts followed that up immediately with a couple of placings this season in his classic year, before plugging away to midfield finishes in his past two races.

Today however the chestnut son of Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Cup winner Gordon’s proved best for James McDonald in the field of 11, and his strong finish signalled that the extra distance of the NZ Derby might prove ideal.

Currently at $51 with the NZ TAB for the $2,000,000 Group 1 NZ Derby (2400m), Gordon Roberts was purchased by Te Akau’s David Ellis at the 2008 Karaka Premier Yearling Sale for $260,000 from Phoenix Park.

Gordon Roberts won his maiden by a short-neck over fellow three-year-old Walkaway (Van Nistelrooy) in a time of 1.39.16 on the slow8 track.