High Chaparral already has a leading Australian Derby contender in It’s a Dundeel, but he may have a back-up after Hippopus (3g High Chaparral x Straight Eight, by Danske) furthered his credentials with another good tough win at Canterbury on Wednesday.
The improving Gai Waterhouse trained stayer led for most of the race before powering clear to win the 1900 metre event by a length and a half for Tommy Berry under 59.5 kg.
“Gai has purposely kept him back for the past couple of weeks thinking that he could be a Derby horse,” said stable representative, Mark Newnham.
“His last start was back in early February and we are at the end of March so it is a fair training performance to get him to win today.
“He will progress to the Tulloch and then get his chance in the Derby.
“He is very tough and just keeps grinding.”
A $350,000 NZB Premier Yearling Sale purchase from the draft of Windsor Park Stud, Hippopus is making good progress in his first campaign and has won three races and placed twice from seven starts to date earning in excess of $65,000 in prizemoney.
Hippopus is one of three winners from stakes-placed Straight Eight, a half-sister to Group III winner The Big Bopper.
High Chaparral has a sizable draft of 38 youngsters for the 2013 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.