Burnewang North Pastoral owner Cathy Hains can turn the clock back nearly 20 years when Ayers Rock takes aim at the G1 Victoria Derby (2500m) on October 31.
Hains bred and sold Ayers Rock for $110,000 at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale and the untapped colt will continue his spring campaign in the G3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) this Saturday.
Cranbourne trainer Shawn Mathrick believes Ayers Rock has the ability to join the honour-roll of Victoria Derby winners. Among them is Portland Player who won it in 1996 for Cathy’s parents David and Helen Hains.
“I’ve spruiked this horse from Day 1,” Mathrick said after he won the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on October 4. “Back then I told the boys he would win the Derby – he’s a magnificent stayer.”
Ayers Rock (pictured) had won a 2000m maiden at Mildura in August and then stepped back to a mile when runner-up in the LR Morphettville Guineas before his front-running victory at headquarters.
Hains kept a share in the colt and she also sold his Artie Schiller half-brother to Hong Kong for $130,000 at this year’s Melbourne Premier.
Ayers Rock is by Nicconi (G1 winning son of Victorian stalwart Bianconi) from Sydney winning mare Vintage Rock (Thunder Gulch) who was also stakes-placed twice in the LR Canberra Cup.
He’s the first live foal from Vintage Rock who joined the broodmares at Burnewang North after changing hands for $130,000 at the 2010 Magic Millions National Sale.