The Australian Derby will be held at Randwick this Saturday. Randwick was rated a Slow 6 on Thursday and with fine weather forecast, the track should upgrade to the Dead range on raceday.
There are three very short priced favourites in all three Group 1 events and they all look very much like the winners so there isn’t going to be much value for the punters. Anyway, let’s enjoy the tremendous racing at the headquarter.
In the Carbine Club Stakes (Sydney Race 2, 1600m), the top weight Tatra has been in good form. He has finished 3rd in both the Randwick & Rosehill Guineas. Peter Snowden has decided that Tatra is not a stayer and the 3YO is going to skip the Derby and instead coming back to the mile. That is a very sensible decision as Tatra is more of a miler. From four starts at 1600m, Tatra has never missed a place. Though he has 59kg, that should not be a concern as the limit for the race is 56kg. Currently at $6.00 fixed odds, Tatra looks a good bet.
In the Chairman’s Quality Handicap (Sydney Race 4, 2600m), runners use this race as a final lead-up to the Sydney Cup. The form horse in the race is no doubt the Waterhouse trained Julienas. He has won the past two starts with the latest a victory in the Listed Manion Cup 2400m. Julienas is prime to run a strong 2600m and from barrier 7, Nash Rawiller will take him straight to the front. The further they go, the stronger Julienas gets.
In the 2YO Sires Produce Stakes (Sydney Race 5, 1400m), the first odds-on Group 1 favourite for the day is the Golden Slipper winner Overreach. The filly looked very strong in the Slipper and the way she eased down in the last little bit indicated that the 1400m would pose no problem. From barrier 6, I expect Tommy Berry to take a sit just behind the leader and with her scintillating sprint, she’ll simply run over the top of them in the straight.
In the main event of the meeting the David Jones Australian Derby (Sydney Race 7, 2400m), It’s A Dundeel will start as the shortest priced Derby favourite since Beau Zam in 1988 (at 9-2 on & won the derby by 5 lengths). With the withdrawal of Victoria Derby winner Fiveandahalfstar, it looks almost a formality for the New Zealander to complete the 3YO triple crown, the first since the mighty Octagonal in 1996.
Trainer Murray Baker first put blinkers on It’s A Dundeel in the Randwick Guineas in order to sharpen him up at the tight turning Warwick Farm. And the 3YO shown tremendous dash racing down the middle of the straight to reel in Proisir. Baker decided to keep the blinkers on It’s A Dundeel in the Rosehill Guineas and the colt blitz the field by almost 7 lengths.
It’s A Dundeel is very short at $1.25 fixed odds, but there is no one in the Derby field able stop the New Zealand champ marching towards the 3YO triple crown.
By Owens Wong, Editor