This Saturday the race in everyone’s mind will be the $1.3million Group 1 AJC Australian Derby, a tough and prestigious staying test run over 2400m.
The 2010 AJC Derby has drawn an elite final field of 15 three-year-olds eager to secure a coveted Group 1 win at the Sydney autumn racing carnival.
It is a star studded field brimful of top chances including the current pre-race favourite at $3 with Ladbrokes.com.au Zabrasive.
The John O’Shea-trained Zabeel gelding is coming off an impressive last start win in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas on March 27.
Zabrasive, seeking his fourth career victory, has drawn ideally in barrier three and will be ridden by big race expert Hugh Bowman.
Saturday’s AJC Derby is set to be an entertaining showdown between Zabrasive and runner-up in the Rosehill Guineas Rock Classic.
The Bart Cummings-trained Rock Classic is currently the second favourite for a win in the Derby at $4 after drawing mid-field with barrier seven.
Son of Fastnet Rock, Rock Classic won the coveted Group 1 Crown Guineas two starts back and will be looking to seek revenge for his second place in the Guineas.
Despite the seemingly more favourable barrier three draw for Zabrasive, a wet track on Saturday will work to the advantage of those runners, including Zabrasive’s biggest threat Rock Classic, drawn slightly wider.
Legendary trainer Cummings also has Suyama, who actually beat their more fancied stablemate in a track gallop this week, engaged in Saturday’s race drawn out wide in barrier 12. One of the longest-priced roughies of the field, Suyama will be ridden by Michelle Payne who is attempting to be the first female jockey to claim victory in the Derby.
Cummings’ son Anthony is also well represented with two of his own AJC Australian Derby starters Landlocked and Home On A Wing drawn in barriers 15 and two respectively.
Third favourite in the betting markets at the moment is the John Wallace-trained Shoot Out (barrier nine) followed closely by New Zealand filly Keep The Peace fresh off a win in the New Zealand Oaks over the same 2400m distance.
Randwick have an elite day’s racing scheduled for Saturday with other headline events including the $500,000 Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) featuring the nation’s finest sprinters, the $300,000 Group 1 AJC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) as well as the $150,000 Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) for the fillies and mares, the $150,000 Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) and the $125,000 Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) all set to light up the track.
The 2010 David Jones AJC Australian Derby is set to run as race seven at 3:40pm (NSW time).
Get in early with your AJC Australian Derby day betting to secure the best odds by taking advantage of the ante-post markets available through Ladbrokes.com.au.
2010 David Jones AJC Australian Derby Final Field & Barrier Draw
MONACO CONSUL (NZ)
|Michael Moroney||Damien Oliver||4||56.5|
|Bart Cummings||Michael Rodd||7||56.5|
|John Wallace||Stathi Katsidis||9||56.5|
|David Hayes||Glen Boss||5||56.5|
|John O’Shea||Hugh Bowman||3||56.5|
HANDSOME ZULU (NZ)
|John Sargent||H W Lai||11||56.5|
|John P Thompson||Brenton Avdulla||1||56.5|
|Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||8||56.5|
|John P Thompson||Craig Williams||14||56.5|
SHERPA TENZING (NZ)
|Jim Conlan||Mark Zahra||13||56.5|
|Anthony Cummings||Jay Ford||15||56.5|
HOME ON A WING
|Anthony Cummings||Tim Clark||2||56.5|
|Bart Cummings||Michelle Payne||12||56.5|
|Pat Carey||Glyn Schofield||6||56.5|
KEEP THE PEACE (NZ)
|Shaune Ritchie||Jason Waddell||10||54.5|