Huntly Castle books Derby spot

Lindsay Park unveiled yet another possible Derby contender ahead of next season when Huntly Castle won the $135,000 Byerley Handicap (1800m) at Flemington on Saturday.

The stable has prepared four individual juvenile winners over 1600 metres or further this season - the others being Power Scheme, Pontivy and Cassius.

Huntly Castle ($3.90 favourite) won his maiden over the mile at Bendigo on July 5 and he again emerged the superior stayer up in distance, settling midfield under Jye McNeil and defeating Marndarra ($9.50), who stayed on well from her on-pace position, by 1.75 lengths.

"He was a little bit fractious in the stalls, he had a lot of nervous energy and that’s why he was slow out of the barriers," McNeil said.

"Thankfully we were able to get into a good position, he switched off, got into a lovely rhythm and it was easy in the end."

The winner of the Byerley is afforded ballot-free exemption for the G1 Victoria Derby (2500m) and co-trainer Ben Hayes said post-race Huntly Castle would be 'wrapped in cotton wool’ ahead of that race.

"He looks like a horse that will really run out that distance," Hayes said.

Huntly Castle is by Sebring out of Hussonet mare Friday Hussy, who registered all five of her wins between 1900 and 2040m in town.

Byerley Handicap, photo finish picture