One of the country’s premier three-year-old showdowns is this Saturday’s $1.5 million Group 1 AJC Australian Derby (2400m) and betting markets for the Randwick feature have been released with New Zealand galloper Jimmy Choux top of the odds.
The John Bary-trained son of Thorn Park bought his scintillating form from New Zealand to our shores last start when Jimmy Choux scored a gallant half-length victory over Retrieve in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 26.
This saw the New Zealand Derby winner shoot to the top of the ante-post AJC Derby markets.
On Tuesday the AJC Australian Derby barrier draw saw Jimmy Choux come up trumps with gate one for Saturday.
Despite speculations bookies would install the clot odds-on to become the AJC Derby winner, currently Jimmy Choux is at a quote of $2.10.
Trainer John Bary is confident heading into Saturday’s showdown having seen Jimmy Choux come out on top in his Aussie debut in the Rosehill Guineas.
“Honestly this next run is for fun,” Bary said.
“This time we’ve seen what’s around and we know our horse and we’re happy with him.”
There are just two other contenders in the 2011 AJC Australian Derby field of 14 at single-figure odds to upset the favourite.
The Peter Snowden-trained Retrieve is the second elect at $6.50 despite the Rahy colt running a discouraging sixth behind Fast Clip in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
The Tulloch Stakes disgrace was dismissed by Snowden earlier this week.
“He just got in the wrong place in the race, three back on the fence, and got knocked down about a half-dozen times,” Snowden said.
“To me, it was just an absolutely ‘forgive’ run.”
In the Rosehill Guineas Retrieve looked the winner after pulling clear on the straight, but a fast finishing Jimmy Choux was able to run down the leader and snare victory.
Snowden is hoping Retrieve can bounce back from the Tulloch Stakes and turn the tables on Jimmy Choux in the Derby despite drawing wide with gate 12 for Saturday.
“We’ll be more aggressive in the Derby,” Snowden said.
“He’s definitely not a sit-and-sprint type of horse.”
Occupying the third line of AJC Derby betting is the sole filly in this year’s field, Shamrocker at $7.50.
Two starts back on March 5 at Flemington the Danny O’Brien-trained Shamrocker scored an upset 1 ¾ length win in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) before finishing a credible third to Jimmy Choux in the Rosehill Guineas after being held up for a run on the straight.
Shamrocker came up with barrier eight for the AJC Derby and will be ridden by Glen Boss.
Boss was aboard Shamrocker for her Australian Guineas win, his third victory from four starts on her, before Damien Oliver took the mount aboard the daughter of O’reilly for the Rosehill edition.
Boss was originally engaged to ride one-time Derby rival Absolutelyawesome on Saturday, but after watching Shamrocker hit the line hard in the Rosehill Guineas, the multiple Group 1 winning hoop ditched Absolutelyawesome in favour of the filly.
“The filly has a second-to-none chance,” said Boss.
“I thought her last 200 metres in the (Rosehill) Guineas was very encouraging.
“She has done it before against the boys….I don’t think there is that much between the fillies and colts this year.”
Other horses in the Derby markets, albeit at double-figure odds, include the Chris Waller-trained King Gladiator ($12) coming off a fifth in the Tulloch Stakes, Gai Waterhouse’s in-form Redoute’s Choice colt Light Brigade ($13) and Tulloch Stakes runner-up I Think I Do ($14) from the stables of Cups King Bart Cummings.
The 2011 David Jones AJC Australian Derby will run as Randwick Race 7 at 3:40pm (AEST) on Saturday.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the best Derby field updates, form reports and betting tips.
Below are the current AJC Australian Derby odds courtesy of Luxbet and subject to change.
2011 AJC Australian Derby Odds
|1||JIMMY CHOUX (1)||2.10|
|7||HE’S REMARKABLE (13)||21.00|
|8||LIGHT BRIGADE (2)||13.00|
|9||I THINK I DO (11)||14.00|
|11||HIGH DENSITY (4)||301.00|
|12||KING GLADIATOR (9)||12.00|