Kovalica wins the Queensland Derby: Post Race Trainer and Jockey Quotes

Trainer and jockey quotes after Kovalica takes out the Group 1 Ladbrokes Queensland Derby at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Race Result:

1st: Kovalica (James McDonald/Chris Waller) - $1.70F
2nd: Fame (Jason Collett/Peter Moody) - $10
3rd: Stroke Of Luck (Ben Melham/John O'Shea) - $31

Winning Time: 2:29.63  Last 600m: 36.20

Margins: 2L x 2L

Winning Trainer: Chris Waller

"Obviously he has had the perfect preparation for getting the trip back prior to Christmas, he ran 1 5⁄16 m. There was a hiccup two weeks ago but we didn't panic, gave him that extra run and once he hit the front I thought he was fit enough, he will be right."

"It was a faultless ride and obviously barrier draws make things so much easier. James cleverly got out in the three-wide line at about the half mile because he had done nothing up until that stage so he was entitled to get out and make his own luck."

"It's been a great success story with Neville and Dave and Guy. They are a pleasure to trainer for, as most of our owners are, and it makes my job a lot easier."

Winning Jockey: James McDonald

"It was lovely. It was like on Verry Elleegant that time - everything just worked out well. He got into a beautiful rhythm from the moment he left the stalls to about the 1000, there was time to do a little bit of work.

"He's here to shine and put him into a spot where he was exposed and flowed into the race and he did the rest."

Horse was 'asking' to press the button at top of the straight: "He was. I hope they run him in The Q22."

"He's a really good horse. To show a turn of foot over those trips is something else. It doesn't matter where you are in a race they make their own luck the good horses and he did that really well. There wasn't a moment of fear in that race because nothing went wrong, it was poetry in motion, he galloped away really well."

"I was hoping to get (to 80 Group One winners) before the end of the season so hopefully a couple more would be nice."

"To ride for Dave and Neville, great supporters of racing, and to win on their home turf basically, they live here, on a really good horse is really special.

"We've had a great association since we moved over. They're the best people ever..

Beaten Jockeys:

James Orman (The Vowels): "Caught three-wide and boxed on ok but unfortunately can't really sit three-wide in a Derby and win. Game effort."

Craig Newitt (Aberfeldie Boy): "He ran really good considering he was on his Melbourne leg the whole way. Copped a bit of interference on the corner which sort of spat him out the back but he finished off well."

Blake Shinn (Andalus): "Great honest run, toughed it out well. Few better on the day but he ran an incredible race."

Ben Thompson (Tapildoodledo): "We were impeded inside the 600. If he's had a smoother run he goes a better result. The other were just too slick."

Jake Bayliss (Waitak): "He's had a massive prep in New Zealand and come here and had three or four runs. From the draw I let him be where he wanted to be and that was outside the leader. Probably a bit close for him ideally but probably found the next of him this preparation."

Ben Melham (Stroke Of Luck): "He had a good trip. It was a super effort. Penny hasn't dropped yet so he will improve as a four-year-old."

Tyler Schiller (Smartawi): "Probably at the top of his distance and depth range at this point but I think he's run an honest race and I think he'll come back a better horse.".

Sam Weatherley (Arby): "Ran really well. We got back and I didn't really have anything take me into the race. Besides the second horse he was the only one to really make up a whole lot of ground so I'm pretty proud of him."

Damien Thornton (Cut On A Dime): "He ran well. He probably didn't just see out the trip."

Chad Schofield (The Englishman): "Traveled really well. Raced nice in the bix seat. Probably just lacked a finish against them."

Jason Collett (Fame): "Ran fantastic. Finished the race off strong."

Josh Parr (Xtrarevz): "He handled himself well in strong company."

Craig Williams (Sacred Mission): "He lovely getting to his usual dictating front role but when I placed him under pressure before entering the straight he failed to respond so it'll be interesting to see how the horse comes through the run."

Samantha Collett (Amalgamation): "The outside barrier didn't help our chances here. Got a long way back and tried to give him his chance to run on but it was a pretty rich race. He's going to a really nice horse next prep."

Larry Cassidy (Subarctic): "Just a bit outclassed he did run a bad race before the turn but they'll spell him out and he'll come back and win a maiden."

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