The upcoming Group I BRC Queensland Derby (2400m) looms as a very open race this year and a lightly raced Kiwi bred threw his hat into the ring on Wednesday at Ipswich suggesting he may be a chance to emulate the success of other Kiwi bred 3YO Group I winners this season in Explosive Jack, Mo’Unga, Lion’s Roar and Johnny Get Angry.
The Chris Waller trained Ocean Park gelding Fortified won his debut at the Gold Coast last December and has been taken along quietly this preparation in easier grades before winning a $50,000 open three year-old event today.
He relished the step up to 2210m, letting down well at the finish with a powerful run up the fence to win by four lengths.
Fortified was a $100,000 Karaka Book 1 purchase for Chris Waller Racing / Mulcaster Bloodstock from the Trelawney Stud draft and has the overall record of three wins and two placings from six starts with prizemoney topping $66,000.
Fortified is the third winner from Dubonnet, a half-sister by O’Reilly to Group III winner Martini Red from Group I winner Pernod, the family also producing Group I South Australian Derby winner Kushadasi.
Chris Waller and Guy Mulcaster have had plenty of luck with the Ocean Park breed training multiple Group I winner and $6million earner Kolding, $1.3 million earner Star of the Seas and Group III winner Another Dollar, so it will be no surprise to see Fortified make his mark in the future, if not in the Derby then certainly as an older horse.