Derby Winner Johnny Get Angry Nearing Return

The raceday return of Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m) winner Johnny Get Angry is imminent after his pleasing 800m jump-out at Flemington last Friday.

Trainer Denis Pagan is now weighing up whether to kick the New Zealand-bred’s campaign off in the Gr.3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on August 7, or Gr.2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield a week later.

Johnny Get Angry has not raced since winning the Derby at Flemington last October.

He returned to work earlier this year, but Pagan elected to take a cautious approach with the three-year-old when he pulled up ‘scratchy’ one morning and he decided to focus on the spring.

Pagan was pleased with the son of Tavistock’s hit-out on Friday and is looking forward to the spring, where his ultimate aim is the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).

“It was a fast trial. He was out the back, but he pleased me and came through it okay,” Pagan said.

“He’ll either start in the Aurie’s Star or the P B Lawrence, but I’ll just see how he goes. I don’t want to be getting too far ahead of myself.”

In favouring the Aurie’s Star, Pagan said the straight 1200m would be a good hit-out for his charge, and he is thinking of giving him three jump-outs prior to his return.

“But if there’s a race, down the straight at Flemington, I’m sure he’ll gain more benefit from that than he would in another 800m spin around on a Friday morning,” Pagan said.

“That’s the mentality, but I’ve got to play it by ear.”

Johnny Get Angry was sourced as a yearling at Karaka, with Pagan’s good friend Troy Corstens securing the son of Tavistock for $50,000 from the draft of Bradbury Park.

– NZ Racing Desk

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