Highgrove (NZ) Smashes National Record to Claim Group One Derby

30 May 2022

Highgrove (NZ) claims his first Group One victory in the Northern Trotting Derby (2700m). 

Highgrove (NZ) (Love You) broke through for his first Group One victory in emphatic style, smashing a national record as he made the $100,000 Breckon Farms Northern Trotting Derby (2700m) a one horse affair. 

The NZB Standardbred graduate had a quality field strung out around Alexandra Park on Friday night as he set a sizzling pace that proved far too hot for his rivals.

Highgrove was offered by Kevin and Margaret Townley’s Tavistock Breeding at the 2020 Christchurch National Yearling Sale.

The brilliant gelding was purchased by Robert and Jenna Dunn’s Diamond Racing Stables for $34,000 out of preparer Laura Smith’s draft.

A star two and three-year-old, Highgrove has shown plenty of ability during his 10-win and 17-start career.

On Friday night, amid a huge night of harness racing, the trotter was fittingly crowned a Group One winner.

Driver John Dunn had the squaregaiter in front soon after the start of his 2700 metre victory and from there, their opponents barely got a look in.

“He came off the arm quite good and he wanted to get trucking,” the reinsman said. “So, instead of fighting him I just let him run.”
“He got a little bit tired at the line, but he was entitled to running that time.”

Highgrove stopped the clock in a scintillating time of 3-20.7, setting a new national record, race record and track record for a three-year-old trotting colt or gelding over 2700 metres.

It was the Robert and Jenna Dunn trained trotter’s second national record-breaking performance after he set a new national mark for a two-year-old trotting colt or gelding over 1700 metres at Ashburton last year.

John Dunn is of the opinion that Highgrove should only get better following his epic Northern Trotting Derby win.

“Right from the get go he has had the ability. He has still got to fill into his frame, he is doing it all on natural ability at the moment.”

“If things stay right he should get better with age.”

Three of the first four horses home in the Northern Trotting Derby were NZB Standardbred graduates.

Double Delight (NZ) (Captaintreacherous) chased hard in the home straight, getting within two lengths of Highgrove in a valiant effort for trainer-driver Tony Herlihy.

Herlihy purchased the filly for $40,000 from breeder-vendors Tardina Stud at the 2020 Auckland National Yearling Sale.

Wy Fi (NZ) (Love You) fought hard to take fourth after sitting parked on a national record-breaking pace.

The gelding was purchased by All Stars Racing Stable for $40,000 from breeder-vendors Breckon Farms at the 2020 Auckland National Yearling Sale.

Consignor L. Smith
Purchaser Diamond Racing
Breeding Love You x Focus On Me
Sale 2020 Christchurch Yearling Sale, $34,000
Bred by Tavistock Breeding Limited