Lucy Yeomans (left) wth former boss Ciaron Maher (centre).
Lucy Yeomans (l) is hoping to get the better of former boss Ciaron Maher (c) at Flemington. Image by HANDOUT/RACING PHOTOS
  • horse racing, harness racing

Yeomans out to upstage big-name trainers on Derby Day

Shayne Hope November 4, 2023

There’s a sense of self-deprecating humour when Lucy Yeomans describes herself as an “impostor” saddling up Group 1 contenders in her own right at the Melbourne Cup carnival.

Yeomans is in her first season in training partnership with Lloyd Kennewell, after a decade of working her way through the ranks under high-profile pair Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.

And she’s hoping to upstage master trainers Chris Waller, Gai Waterhouse and Peter Moody – as well as her old bosses – at Flemington on Saturday.

Yeomans believes an “alternative” approach to Roguery’s preparation has given her three-year-old gelding a chance against Waller’s favourite Riff Rocket in the $2 million Victoria Derby (2500m).

“We’ve been running him in the country against older horses,” Yeomans said.

“He’s won his last two starts over 2000m and he’s really grown to get the trip.

“We’re coming here as confident as you can be with a lightly raced three-year-old going into a Derby.

“He’s drawn barrier one and we really think he’ll get a very economical run. I don’t think he’ll be feeling the pinch late, he’ll be solid through the line.”

Yeomans could have a better shot at Group 1 glory on Saturday with I Am Unstoppable in the $2 million Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).

“Group 1 races are very hard to win but we think he’s at his absolute peak and deserves a spot in the field,” Yeomans said.

“He’s drawn a barrier nicely for me; we wanted him to draw out wide and he’s drawn 12, so we’re as positive as we can be coming into a big race like this.”

A win in one of Australia’s premier stallion-making races would be life-changing for I Am Unstoppable and his connections.

“For a horse that was a $60,000 buy from the sales, we’ve been fielding some quite big offers,” Yeomans said.

“If he is lucky enough to win and become a stallion it will be surreal.

“But, to be honest, I’d probably be more excited to win a Group 1 than getting the stallion deal.”