The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT - GLENN MCFARLANE

THE Brown­low Medal, the Norm Smith Medal, the AFL premier­ship – and maybe the Vic­to­ria Derby.

Dustin Martin’s win­ning ways, and those of a hand­ful of his Rich­mond team­mates, rolled on be­yond last week’s AFL grand fi­nal with a horse he part-owns, Main Stage ($8.50), turn­ing in a slash­ing Derby trial to win yes­ter­day’s UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flem­ing­ton.

While Martin wasn’t on course yes­ter­day to see the son of Reli­able Man take out the listed race, a few of his team­mates were there to cel­e­brate the ex­cit­ing vic­tory.

The game’s best player is a part of the Dusty Boys syn­di­cate along with premier­ship team­mates Dion Pres­tia and Josh Caddy, fel­low Tigers An­thony Miles and Reece Conca and as­sis­tant coach An­drew McQual­ter, who bought into Main Stage, sourced for $150,000 at the New Zealand

Ready to Run Sales. The three­year-old geld­ing, trained by Trent Busut­tin and Natalie Young, will now head to the Caulfield Clas­sic be­fore push­ing on to the Vic­to­ria Derby.

“I would love to get Dusty and the boys at the Derby, but I got a lit­tle whis­per that one of the (Rich­mond) boys is get­ting mar­ried on that day,” said Young, a pas­sion­ate Tigers fan.

“So it would be nice to get a few of them to Caulfield.

“We have al­ways been Rich­mond sup­port­ers, My son is al­ways decked out in their gear. It is nice they (the play­ers) have come into a share of the horse, and we have got them into a good one.”

Young said Martin had been out to see the horse, with the syn­di­cate mem­bers tak­ing a close in­ter­est in Main Stage’s progress.

She said the horse would con­tinue to im­prove af­ter yes­ter­day’s win ahead of Cliff’s Edge ($5.50) and another of the sta­ble’s horses, Johnny Vinko ($21) in third.

“He is go­ing to be hard to beat (in the Derby),” Young said.

“(This) was only the quar­ter-fi­nal.

“We’ve got the semi-fi­nal and the fi­nal to come but this horse keeps im­prov­ing.”

AN ILL Tony McEvoy would have been buoyed by the ef­forts of his three-year-old filly Bring Me Roses to win the Ed­ward Man­i­fold Stakes (1600m).

Sta­ble fore­man Michael Shep­hard­son said McEvoy had be­come ill af­ter the first race and had to go home.

Shep­hard­son said the sta­ble had a big opin­ion of the filly and had set her for the Kennedy Oaks (2500m) at Flem­ing­ton.

“She’s a High Cha­parral filly with a good turn of foot. We’ve al­ways had a big opin­ion of her,” Shep­hard­son said.

He said she would fol­low the tra­di­tional path to the Oaks and he ex­pected she would run in the Wake­ful Stakes.

WIN­NING GOAL: Michael Walker (pink cap) rides Main Stage to vic­tory at Flem­ing­ton yes­ter­day; and (below) Rich­mond star for­ward Dustin Martin on grand fi­nal day. Pic­tures: Getty Im­ages

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