2014 New Zealand Derby

The 2014 New Zealand Derby was a horse race which took place at Ellerslie Racecourse on Saturday 1 March 2014. It was the 139th running of the New Zealand Derby, and it was won by Puccini.[1]

Puccini was the favourite for the race on the strength of impressive victories in the Great Northern Guineas, Waikato Guineas and Avondale Guineas. He showed a distinct fondness for front-running tactics in these victories, leading throughout and scoring emphatic victories. The same tactics were widely expected to be repeated in the Derby. But Puccini was slow out of the gates and was fourth last in the 18-horse field after the first 500m. He made a spectacular move halfway down the back stretch, sweeping to the lead. He kicked strongly at the turn and held on for an impressive and convincing two-length win over Rising Romance, with Glorious Lad another four lengths away in third.

Puccini's spectacular performance received a rapturous reception from the Ellerslie crowd, and prompted rider Michael Walker to declare that Puccini was the best horse he'd ever ridden.[2]

Rising Romance made up ground from near the back of the field to finish second. She is by the same sire and trained by the same stable as 2013 Derby winner Habibi. Glorious Lad took third.

Race detailsEdit

  • Sponsor: TV3
  • Prize money: NZ$750,000
  • Track: Good
  • Number of runners: 18
  • Winner's time: 2:28.39

Full resultEdit

Margin Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Puccini Michael Walker Peter & Jacob McKay $3.20
2 2 Rising Romance Michael Coleman Donna & Dean Logan $3.50
3 Glorious Lad Mark Du Plessis Shaune Ritchie $14.20
4 Kentucky Son Trudy Thornton Lee Somervell $145.50
5 Neck We'regoingtogetcha Kelly Myers David Hayes $9.50
6 ½ Fast Dragon Johnathon Parkes Bruce Wallace $50.80
7 Neck Chipandchase Noel Harris Stephen Marsh $56.00
8 3 Maygrove Chris Johnson Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman $25.60
9 ½ Blizzard Opie Bosson Jeff McVean & Emma-Lee Browne $33.80
10 ¾ Thorn Pass Danielle Johnson Lisa Latta $87.10
11 ¼ Lucky Feather Craig Grylls Toby Autridge & Cyril Goodwin $52.60
12 ½ The Fire Inside Mark Sweeney Michael Moroney & Chad Ormsby $50.80
13 ¾ Colonel Carrera Rory Hutchings Graeme & Debbie Rogerson $76.80
14 ¼ Spellbinder Matthew Cameron Jason Bridgman $7.10
15 ½ Habitual Offender Leith Innes Michael Moroney & Chad Ormsby $25.60
16 Neck King Savinsky Hayden Tinsley Jason Bridgman $100.20
17 9 Stand Your Ground Vinnie Colgan Donna & Dean Logan $32.80
18 18 Mr Frankey Sam Spratt Lisa Latta $60.30

Winner's detailsEdit

Further details of the winner, Puccini:

  • Foaled: 25 September 2010 in New Zealand
  • Sire: Encosta De Lago; Dam: Miss Opera (Paris Opera)
  • Owner: Monovale Farm
  • Trainer: Peter & Jacob McKay
  • Breeder: Monovale Farm
  • Starts: 14
  • Wins: 5
  • Seconds: 1
  • Thirds: 3
  • Earnings: $676,925

The road to the DerbyEdit

Early-season appearances in 2013–14 prior to running in the Derby.

  • Puccini4th New Zealand 2000 Guineas, 1st Great Northern Guineas, 4th Levin Classic, 1st Waikato Guineas, 1st Avondale Guineas
  • Rising Romance1st Trevor Eagle Memorial, 3rd Eight Carat Classic, 1st Royal Stakes, 2nd Avondale Guineas
  • Glorious Lad2nd Wellington Stakes, 4th Waikato Guineas, 3rd Avondale Guineas
  • Kentucky Son4th Trevor Eagle Memorial, 9th Great Northern Guineas, 15th Waikato Guineas, 15th Avondale Guineas
  • We'regoingtogetcha8th New Zealand 2000 Guineas, 8th Levin Classic, 3rd Waikato Guineas
  • Fast Dragon3rd Trevor Eagle Memorial, 4th Championship Stakes, 3rd [Karaka Million|Karaka Mile]], 6th Avondale Guineas
  • Chipandchase8th Championship Stakes, 10th Karaka Mile
  • Maygrove9th Championship Stakes
  • Blizzard2nd Championship Stakes, 6th Waikato Guineas, 7th Avondale Guineas
  • Thorn Pass7th Levin Classic, 10th Avondale Guineas
  • Lucky Feather3rd Wellington Guineas, 3rd Wellington Stakes, 10th Levin Classic, 4th Avondale Guineas
  • The Fire Inside7th Eulogy Stakes, 3rd Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic
  • Colonel Carrera13th Great Northern Guineas, 5th Championship Stakes, 2nd Waikato Guineas, 11th Avondale Guineas
  • Spellbinder2nd Sarten Memorial, 3rd New Zealand 1000 Guineas, 1st Karaka Mile, 2nd Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic
  • Habitual Offender6th Great Northern Guineas
  • King Savinsky6th Trevor Eagle Memorial, 10th Waikato Guineas
  • Stand Your Ground – No stakes races
  • Mr Frankey – No stakes races

Subsequent Group 1 winsEdit

Subsequent wins at Group 1 level by runners in the 2014 New Zealand Derby.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bull, Alastair (2 March 2014). "Walker shines on Puccini in New Zealand Derby". Racing Post. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  2. ^ Ryan, Dennis (1 March 2014). "Puccini stunning as game plan goes out the window". The Informant. Retrieved 2 March 2014.