The huge Victoria Derby meeting will be held at Flemington this Saturday. The course proper was rated a Good 4 on Thursday and with mainly fine weather in Melbourne over the next couple of days, Flemington will be racing on a Good track on raceday.
The Waller-trained Patrick Erin is looking for ballot exemption to get into the Melbourne Cup by taking out the Lexus Stakes (Melbourne Race 4, 2500m). Currently, Patrick Erin is 38th in the Cup order of entry and must win on Saturday to gain a start in the Melbourne Cup. The 7YO has hit form when stepping up in distance when victorious in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) last start. Stepping up to 2500m 4th up looks perfect and from barrier 8, Corey Brown will settle in a mid-field position and put Patrick Erin to sleep. Patrick Erin will finish strongly down the long Flemington straight.
Promising sprinter Zousain is on the up and is primed to take out the Coolmore Stud Stakes (Melbourne Race 5, 1200m). After a successful Winter carnival, the 3YO colt resumed with a 4th placing on a Heavy 8 track in the Rose To The Rose (1200m) before running a mighty 2nd to star 3YO The Autumn Sun in the Golden Rose (1400m). And that seven furlong race would put him in good stead for Saturday’s tough 1200m assignment down the Flemington straight. James McDonald will ease the colt to settle behind Written By and Sunlight and Zousain will try to emulate his sire (Zoustar, who won this race in 2013) by taking out the Coolmore Stud Stakes.
Sydney visitor Thinkin’ Big has been in terrific form this Spring and he is set to peak in Saturday’s Victoria Derby (Melbourne Race 7, 2500m). The High Chaparral 3YO won the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes 1st up on the 22nd Sept before finishing 3rd behind Maid of Heaven in the Spring Champion Stakes on a shifty track. Thinkin’ Big was back to his winning way last start in the Caulfield Classic (2000m) leading from start to finish. Being 4th up on Saturday, Thinkin’ Big will be at peak fitness and will run the 2500m right out. Tim Clark knows the colt well and will once again be on board. From barrier 9 (into barrier 7 after taking out the emergencies) Clark will go straight to the lead to control the pace and Thinkin’ Big is going to give Waterhouse her second win in this Classic after being successful with Nothin’ Leica Dane in 1995.
By Owens Wong, Editor