Derby prospects for American experiment Green Belt

It isn’t often that a weekend 1600-metre three-year-old maiden could unearth a horse with Derby prospects, or even one with Group 1 potential over any distance, but the win of Green Belt at Cranbourne on Sunday has the Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr stable eyeing the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) in May or the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) as possibilities.

Green Belt won the Hygain Maiden Plate in impressive fashion ridden by Jamie Kah.

“It was her first ride on the horse and he’s shown a lot of ability,” Kent told RSN.

“He’s a lovely colt and he’s one of our American experiments.

“We’ve ended up with eight or nine yearlings from America over the last two-and-a-half years and he’s definitely shown a lot of ability.”

Green Belt is by Declaration Of War (USA) who won the 2013 Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes (1609m) and in that same year the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes (2092m).

Declaration Of War won over distances ranging from 1500 metres to just under 2200 metres.

“It was a big ask for a young colt and he’s just turned three by northern hemisphere time so to go to a mile at his first start off two trials, he’s a gross horse, and got pressured early, they rolled along with a good tempo and to break the field up was quite good under light riding.

“He’s a lazy colt so I think there is more there for sure.

“If we can win one more race and put him away for a Derby, like Russian Camelot, that’d be fantastic.”

Their experience going further to knowing that there isn’t a lot different to be done in preparation.

“We train them much the same (as the local horses) but the American thoroughbred is a beautiful animal,” Kent Jnr adds.

“As we know, European horses are a little bit finer boned but the American athletes have got that strength of the Australian horses but more scope.

“We’re buying the turf pedigrees so we targeted Declaration Of War on the back of his success for those two seasons through 2019 and 2020 where he sired a Melbourne Cup winner (Vow And Declare), a Victoria Derby winner (Warning) and the Queensland Oaks winner (Winning Ways).

“It was unheralded (and) If they were down here everyone would be trying to buy them. Over in America they weren’t highly thought of so were able to grab four at a nice price.

“The two Declaration Of War horses to have raced are both one-for-one and we bought them at a nice price.”

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