Like its Victorian counterpart, the $200,000 Group 1 New South Wales Derby looms as a blockbuster!
The Victorian edition was deep but filled with a bunch of stars at the top end of the talent pool. This Saturday evening we are likely to see yet another corker of a Derby with many of those same horses returning for a shot at Group 1 glory.
Colt Thirty One ran past them all to secure the Victoria Derby and his ace alley will again see him in the mix for victory. Let’s take a look at them runner-by-runner;
1 Colt Thirty One – Grant Dixon
What an interesting runner he is! He was explosive, running past Poster Boy at Tabcorp Park Melton to grab the Victoria Derby and his heat win last week was done with incredible ease. Whether he is a horse who is most damaging off the pace is up for debate but he does seem capable of leading a race like this all the way.
I expect him to cop significant heat and I think he gets run past here. First four for sure, though.
2 Major Times – Mark Pitt for Emma Stewart
I expect this guy to be immediately looking for the pegs meaning he will secure a soft run. He’s not best horse from the stable and he’s barely earned a quid but he’s proven consistent and capable. A place chance.
3 Divine State (Emergency 1) – Lauren Tritton for Shane & Lauren Tritton
Only an outside hope of gaining a run and looks best suited to mile races. He had a pretty easy run behind the leader last week and lost touch with them the further they ran.
The draw would see him burn to the front should he gain a start.
4 Poster Boy – Chris Alford for Emma Stewart
He’s the golden boy among a plethora of choices for the stable. He alarmingly got beaten in the Victoria Derby where he seemingly had every conceivable opportunity to win the race. He led – somewhat uncomfortably – last week so where he gets to in transit will be intriguing. I sense Chris Alford would love to be 1-1 or even leaders back with this guy to make one last run at them.
5 Maratei – Luke McCarthy* for Emma Stewart
His performance in the heat was magnificent and he wreaks of a horse going places. He’s big, tough and has an abundance of intimidation factor about him. The way he dismantled an underdone All U Need Is Faith last week from the breeze was eye-catching and he now becomes a real winning hope from gate five.
6 Higherthananeagle – Luke McCarthy* for David Aiken
A huge improver as a three-year-old, this guy is living up to the hype that was on him as a rookie. Gate speed will be his ally here so if he can get handy then take a trail he give himself every opportunity to stake a claim for a placing, or even a knockout win.
7 All U Need Is Faith (Emergency 2) – Mark Purdon for Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen
Co-trainer Mark Purdon has stated he is likely to remove his colt from the emergency list.
8 The Black Prince – Chris Geary for Roy Roots
Have very little intel on this guy but his heat run was full of merit and he deserves his spot. He will be looking for luck and may even make an early dive to secure a spot along the pegs.
9 Code Bailey – Glen Craven for Marg Lee
Continues to grow as a racehorse but with only 40k beside his name, you can see why this is another big jump for him.
Bad luck ended his Victoria Derby from the pole and here he will need to be working overtime at some point to be a consideration. Unlikely for mine.
10 Tam Major – Todd McCarthy for Emma Stewart
Was the last qualifier for the final and the least likely of Emma Stewart’s four chances. Gets a Menangle specialist as his pilot but would need many things to ho his way to feature on the podium.
11 The Devils Own – Natalie Rasmussen for Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen
Like his stablemates, his heat run was well below par thanks to a virus. The alley does not help his cause but as we saw in the Victoria Derby, he can do plenty of work and still be a factor in the finish. His task is huge from 11 but at his best, he’s a knockout hope.
12 Little Peanut – Greg Sugars for Jess Tubbs
He’s a trier and seemingly loves Menangle but this is a task too great for the little fella. Greg Sugars will give him every hope of earning a good cheque but it would seem unlikely he can make a mid-race move and still make a run at them.
1 Maratei (5)
2 Poster Boy (4)
3 Colt Thirty One (1)
4 The Devils Own (11)
Stay tuned tomorrow evening for a preview of the Bohemia Crystal FFA and the Ladyship Mile. Enjoy!