Shootoff Derby Favourite



The Graham and Debbie Rogerson trained Shootoff is now the sole favourite for the Group One Queensland Derby after Oaks winner Scarlett Lady was confirmed as a non-runner.

Scarlett Lady and Shootoff had been sharing favouritism all week, however after Rogerson confirmed that the Oaks winning filly would be spelled and aimed at the spring carnival, Shootoff has been declared a $4.00 favourite.

It is a tag that Rogerson believes his horse deserves.

“Shootoff is the one they have to beat. He was very good in the Doomben Cup against the older horses and I think he is a deserved favourite here. He looks absolutely sensational,” said Rogerson.

Rogerson said that forecast rain would be in his colts favour.

Shootoff beat a handy field in the Frank Packer Plate on a Heavy 10 track at Randwick two starts ago. Since then he has won the Lord Mayors Cup and finished fourth in the Group One Doomben Cup. Both of his last two races have been against the older horses.

The Peter Moody trained Turnitup is currently second favourite for the Derby at $6.50.

Turnitup made an impressive Brisbane debut at Doomben late last month by winning the Mullins Lawyers 3yo Grand Prix. He beat home fellow Derby contenders The Chevron, Peck and Playaction.

Since transferring from the Troy Hall yard, Turnitup has raced six times, and finished out of the top two just once.

“He’s an honest little soldier who races on the speed, makes his own luck and will run the trip.”

“He has just kept creeping up on us, he is not the prettiest animal, a rather plain Jane but he is doing a very good job,” said Moody.

The Peter Snowden trained Yulalona has drifted in the market after drawing barrier 21.

Yulalona’s last start win came in a benchmark 75 race over 2000m at Randwick. That race was seven days after his previous start and Snowden believes the quick back up, followed by the short rest is the best method to get the best out of the colt.

Snowden also trains third emergency Peck. Despite the fact that he is third emergency, Peck comes in at the relatively short quote of $21.00.

“He’s in terrific order and probably the best I’ve had him,” said Snowden who will be hoping for a few race day scratching’s to ensure he has another horse in the Derby.

The Chevron is also an emergency who has been well backed.

Despite being listed as second emergency, The Chevron is currently third favourite for the Group One Derby at $8.00.

The Chevron was sent out as a favourite in the race won by Turnitup at Doomben, but he failed to fire, ultimately costing him a place in the final field.

This year there will be two fillies in the field trying to keep the good recent record of the girls going.

The Derby was won by Riva San in 2008, and was taken out by another filly in Dariana last year. This year Heidilicious and Shez Sinsational will be flying the filly flag.

Heidilicious has proven to be a barrier rogue, and her racing manners may have cost her victory at both of her Brisbane starts.

In both the Doomben Roses and the Queensland Oaks, Heidilicious missed the kick. However in both those races she showed she is capable of reeling off some impressive sectionals, which has led bookmakers to install her at $9.00 for the Derby.

There were fears that her barrier manners would affect her chances of gaining a start in the Derby, however after a stewards enforced barrier trial, she is ready to start in the Derby.

She will head into the barriers on Saturday with a barrier blanket after it was found to have a positive effect in helping her relax before her mid-week trial.

The other filly going up against the colts is Shez Sinsational.

Connections of Shez Sinsational paid the late entry fee ($27,500) for the filly after she finished third in the Queensland Oaks.

“It’s a big fee to pay, but she won a bit of money on Saturday and I think the fillies might be a bit stronger,” said trainer Allan Sharrock.

Shez Sinsational has raced in New Zealand in the early stages of her career and has been placed on a Heavy track in New Zealand meaning she shouldn’t be affected if the forecast rain hits Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Shez Sinsational is currently rated a $9.00 chance in the Derby.

The Queensland Derby will be run over 2400m at Eagle Farm on Saturday. The total prize pool for the race is $500,000.