Derek The Jet keeps his unbeaten streak in tact

Derek The Jet maintained his unbeaten record when he took out the $150,000 Haras Des Trotteurs Nutrien Equine Classic (3YO Trotting Colts & Geldings) Final at Melton.


Sent out the $1.28 favorite, Derek The Jet pressed forward at the start and won a spirited early battle for the lead over his main danger Val Thorens ($5) with Valentino settling in third place.

Derek The Jet straightened in front and victory was sealed after Val Thorens galloped when challenging along the sprint lane and it was left to Locksley Cavalier, who charged home from back in the field, to fill second placing.

Jack said the son of Volstead has been a project horse.

"It took a long time for him to click on what he was doing and there a few people I need to thank including Todd Matthews and all the staff at home," Jack said.

"Six months ago I was concerned that he wasn't going to make it to the races and now he's four from four," he said.

Jack was pleased with the win considering the quality of the opposition.

"It was a strong field and there were two Group 1 winners in the field," he said.

"All credit to him as he had to work early and then to get home in 27.7 and we only went from the top of the straight, it just goes to show the sheer speed he has."

A clever drive by comeback reinsman Josh Aiken paved the way for Maoris Mac to take out the $150,000 Haras Des Trotteurs Nutrien Equine Classic (3Y0 Trotting Fillies Final).

Punters were on good terms with themselves when the $1.80 favorite We Can Have It All led while Maoris Mac was buried four horses back along the pegs.

Aiken, who was having his first race drive since June last year, somehow managed to extricate Maoris Mac away from the pegs with 600 metres to travel and the son of Volstead quickly gathered momentum.

Preferred Love was being hailed the winner when Maoris Mac ($18) finished stoutly down the centre of the track scoring by a metre from Preferred Love and We Can Have It All.

Aiken admitted he couldn't have scripted the race any better.

""She's a really nice filly and the race panned out perfectly with a genuine speed on and then to get the split down the back was great," Aiken said.

The winner is raced by harness racing stalwart John (Bluey) McHugh.

"And to get a winner for Bluey was pretty special," he said.

"He worked at the Showgrounds then Moonee Valley and here at Melton as well, he really deserved this win."


Earlier in the night NSW juvenile trotter Rainbow Jester drew first blood on Haras Des Trotteurs Nutrien Equine Classic night when he annihilated his rivals in the $75,000 2Y0 (Trotting Colts & Geldings) Final.

Unbeaten at his only two starts, the son of Majestic Son settled in fourth place on the pegs before Goulburn horseman Dennis Day pulled out to stake his claim with 600 metres to travel.

Rainbow Jester ($1.90 fav) quickly put a gap on the opposition and increased the margin to a 34 metre advantage on the line with fellow NSW youngster Sioux Warrior filling second place.

Day admitted he had concerns at the start when half of the field galloped out.

"I followed out a safe beginner who  had to check however it all worked out good in the end," Day said.

Day said the trotter was virtually bought by mistake for $7000.

"My sons Aaron and Mark liked him and bought him at the Sales and then they looked at him in the ring after they bought him and only then realised that he was a trotter," he said.

Day said Rainbow Jester has improved at each of his three lifetime outings.

"He has stepped up to the plate whenever we've asked him and that helps," he said.

Later in the night 38-year-old Matthew Whittle scored the biggest win of his career when he steered debutant Prohibited Grace to an upset win in the $75,000 Haras Des Trotteurs Nutrien Equine Classic (2YO Trotting Fillies) Final.

Prohibitive Grace ($17) was caught sitting parked outside Kinvara Kate before forging to the lead on straightening and the unraced youngster proved too strong in the home stretch scoring by four metres from the $2.30 favorite Keayang Kurki.

Prior to the race Whittle had driven only 15 winners in his career.

"It beats running around in the old TO races," Whittle said.

"It's good to sit behind a reasonably nice horse that does all the right things for a great outcome, it's definitely the biggest race I've been involved in," he said.

Whittle admitted he was concerned when he was caught leading the outside division and unable to get cover.

"I didn't want to be sitting out there as she was only trial fit and all the others were race fit but turning for home I was still hanging on to her and the others were asking, but she got home better than the others," he said.

Prohibitive Grace is a daughter of boom stallion Volstead who sired the winners of three of the four Trotting Finals.