The Lexus Stakes winner Shocking has secured a win for Mark Kavangh and given the trainer something to smile about following the devasting scratching of his Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby favourite Shamoline Warrior.
In a great ride for champion hoop Michael Rodd, the duo shuffled back on the inside on the home straight and the runner got himself out of trouble quickly to claim a two and a half length victory ahead of Hume with Irazu third.
The win should attract a penalty for Shocking for the illustrious $5.5million Melbourne Cup next Tuesday and bring the horse further into contention for the 3200m event. The Lexus Stakes victory means Shocking is now exempt from ballot for the Cup, nudging many other Melbourne Cup hopefulls out of the 24 horse field, including Bart Cumming’s Dandaad and Naval Escort, both gallopers needed a Lexus victory to secure a Cup start.
Mark Kavangh’s only runner in today’s Derby Day, Shocking started the Lexus as the favourite with odds as short as $3.40, just ahead of Hume at $4, the second favourtie and eventual runner-up.
Hume was heavily tried at the track and got away well. Sterling Prince also started strong, the early leader heading the field for most of the 2500m race.
On the first turn, Shocking sat 4th on the inside, dropping back to 5th when the field got into a strong gallop around the 1400m mark where Sterling Prince still had a length and a half lead over the pack.
But Sterling Prince, the pacesetter in the race, lost speed on the final straight, Shocking making a strong run with 300m to go with a brilliant finish, zipping up the inside right on the fence with Hume finishing out wide.