Eldaytona is a Derby Hope

Smart Somebeachsomewhere colt Eldaytona emerged as a formidable player in the rich WA Derby next year when he gave a stylish frontrunning display to score an emphatic victory in the 2130m Retravision, 60 Day Price Promise Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Trained by Sue Wiscombe and driven confidently by Lindsay Harper, Eldaytona, third favourite at $5.50, had his rivals under pressure a long way from home when he sped over the second and third quarters of the final mile in 28.6sec. and 27.2sec.

He covered the final 400m section in 29.2sec. and defeated the $3.30 favourite Lavra Joe by two lengths, rating 1.56.7. Robbie Rocket ($12) rattled home from seventh at the bell to be an eye-catching third, with Sugar Street ($8) fighting on to be a sound fourth after working hard in the breeze.

Lavra Joe, a winner at his four appearances after resuming from a spell, was not bustled out from the outside barrier (No. 9) and settled down in tenth position. Chris Lewis sent him forward, three wide, approaching the bell and he sustained a spirited run.

Eldaytona, named after Daytona Beach in Florida, is raced by Wiscome, Harper and the colt’s breeders Kevin and Annette Charles.

“He keeps improving and has gone to a new level at each of his past four or five runs,” Harper said. “He’s not just a frontrunner, and I’m sure he can do it from behind.”

Charles entered the colt in the 2019 Perth APG yearling sale and Wiscombe and Harper outlaid $15,000 to obtain a 75 per cent share, with Charles and his wife retaining a 25 per cent ownership.

Eldaytona, the seventh foal and sixth winner out of Artsplace mare Hearty Franco, has now raced 13 times for three wins, seven seconds and $28,832 in stakes. He is a half-brother to Lady Luca, who won the group 1 Diamond Classic at Gloucester Park in 2016 and was retired with earnings of $134,568 from nine wins and eight placings from 65 starts.

Lady Luca has just produced her first foal, by Captain Treacherous. Lady Luca and Eldaytona’s maternal granddam Heather Franco produced Franco Hat Trick (191 starts for 30 wins, 66 placings and $659,210) and Franco Heir (83 starts for 19 wins, 16 placings and $392,272).