Honesty paid a Group 1 dividend at Ellerslie on Saturday when Habibi (NZ) landed the New Zealand Derby with a regal performance that credited her jockey Vinnie Colgan with his fifth success in the classic.
Colgan is due to take up a position riding for Tony McEvoy in Adelaide next month and he had previously won the Derby with Roysyn (1995), Zonda (1997), Hades (1999) and then again on the Australian visitor Redoute’s Dancer in 2007.
“It’s another dream come true,” he said. “She didn’t start as well as I wanted but after passing the post the first time she went to sleep and then I had Fix a couple of lengths in front and I tagged on to her and we dealt to them at the finish.”
While Colgan has enjoyed multiple helpings of Derby delight, for the trainers Donna and Dean Logan it was a first taste and served to avenge the narrow Derby defeat of El Duce who finished runner-up to So Casual in 1998.
“Honesty pays because Habibi’s owners gave us a horse to train years ago and I sent it back because it was useless,” Donna Logan said. “They said then they would send us a good one to train one day.”
Good has now become outstanding after Habibi led in a G1 quinella for fillies ahead of Fix (Iffraaj). Her only defeat in seven starts was a brave run for third in the Avondale Guineas. “It was a beautiful ride and he got her off the fence at the right time – Vinnie is a genius,” Dean Logan said. “I can’t believe it. I’ve felt more pressure going into a maiden race at Ruakaka, everything has just gone so smoothly.”
Habibi (3f Ekraar – Danny Holiday by Danasinga) was bred by New Plymouth couple Peter and Heather Crofskey and they race him with son Gavin and family friend Pam McIntyre. Her sire Ekraar (Red Ransom) is stationed at Linwood Park and his best Kiwi bred galloper to date has been Shez Sinsational.
Habibi is a younger sister to Singapore winner Honest and their dam has a yearling filly from the first crop of Thewayyouare. Second dam Ballamanda (Lord Ballina) is an unraced sister to Mirror Magic (G1 Perth Cup & G1 WA Derby).