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Ron Leemon’s talented Golden Rose winner Manawanui is the headline entry for the 2011 Victoria Derby, the galloper one of 23 three-year-olds paid up for at first declaration stage for the classic on Tuesday.
Oratorio gelding Manawanui enjoyed a stunning five straight winning streak that included a big Group 1 win in the Golden Rose before being beaten a mere nose by Peter Snowden’s champion colt Helmet in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) last-start on October 8.
While Helmet goes to the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley this Saturday, the youngster the firming $3.40 Cox Plate favourite at Luxbet, Manawanui heads towards a different spring grand final.
Connections opted to bypass the Cox Plate with Manawanui and instead run them in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) this Saturday before targeting the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on the opening day of the coveted Melbourne Cup Carnival, Saturday October 29.
Manawanui showed the Caulfield Guineas run hadn’t taken too much out of them when working well in a Moonee Valley track gallop on Tuesday morning.
Producing the fastest final 400 metres of the morning (23.46 seconds), Manawanui impressed jockey Glyn Schofield with the run.
Victoria Derby entries were cut from 83 nominees down to 23 first acceptors today, Manawanui the clear pick of the pack paying $3.80 in the updated Victoria Derby 2011 odds at Luxbet.
There are three other 2011 Victoria Derby First Acceptors at single-figure odds:
- Niagara ($4.60 Luxbet) – Enocasta De Lago colt prepared by Ms Gai Waterhouse, won a 1550m handicap at Canterbury in September before their last-start third to Sabrage in the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) on Caulfield Cup Day
- Sangster ($8.50 Luxbet) – Trent Busuttin-trained Kiwi raider, Savabeel gelding ran third to Doctor Doom in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick before finishing a devastating close second in the Norman Robinson at their Melbourne debut
- Perfect Punch ($9 Luxbet) – Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas-trained Starcraft colt has won their last three on the trot including the Listed Hill Smith Stakes (1800m) at Morphettville, hasn’t raced in Melbourne but these trainers are in-form having scored the Caulfield Cup win with Southern Speed
Other top fancies still in Victoria Derby contention include:
- Michael Moroney’s Norman Robinson Stakes winner Sabrage ($10)
- Lightly-raced Gary Portelli-trained Eagle Command ($11) out to improve their Victoria Derby credentials in the Geelong Classic on Wednesday
- Leon Corstnes’s Zabeel colt Zabeelionaire ($12) who based on breeding alone is a live-wire chance over the 2500 metres
- The Mick Price-trained Encosta De Lago colt Costly Commitment ($15) who has been thereabouts all season winning over 1700 metres at Caulfield before running third in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on Turnbull Stakes Day and then fourth to Sabrage in the Norman Robinson
- One-time Victoria Derby betting favourite Collar ($17) has drifted out after being beaten five lengths by Meethaq when third over the Caulfield mile last time out, albeit carting a hefty 59kg – they would drop back to 55.5kg under the set weights conditions of the Victoria Derby
The full list of Victoria Derby first declarations, updated ballot order and weights can be found in the table below.
The 2011 Victoria Derby final field and barriers are due for release on October 26 and will be published right here at Races.com.au along with a detailed race and betting preview.
Now is the time to lock in your early Victoria Derby selections at generous futures prices through Luxbet.
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2011 Victoria Derby First Acceptances & Ballot
|1||COLLAR (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||3||55.5kg|
|3||COSTLY COMMITMENT||Mick Price||7||55.5kg|
|4||EAGLE COMMAND||Gary Portelli||9||55.5kg|
|5||FAMOUS BY NAME (NZ)||Dean Binaisse||13||55.5kg|
|6||FAST BUCKS||Paul & Tracey Templeton||15||55.5kg|
|7||I FEEL GOOD||Frankie Stockdale||16||55.5kg|
|8||ISOPACH||John P Thompson||2||55.5kg|
|10||MONSILI||Shane A Edwards||22||55.5kg|
|11||MR CHEZ (NZ)||Graeme & Debbie Rogerson||20||55.5kg|
|12||MUSTANG (NZ)||David R Miller||21||55.5kg|
|14||PERFECT PUNCH||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||6||55.5kg|
|15||POWER BROKER (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||17||55.5kg|
|16||RAPIDUS (NZ)||Bart Cummings||18||55.5kg|
|18||SANGSTER (NZ)||Trent Busuttin||5||55.5kg|
|19||SCELTO (NZ)||Robbie Laing||10||55.5kg|
|20||ST CHRISTOPHE (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||23||55.5kg|
|21||THE DEEP SOUTH (NZ)||Michael Moroney||12||55.5kg|
|22||VATUVEI||Peter G Moody||19||55.5kg|
|23||ZABEELIONAIRE (NZ)||Leon Corstens||11||55.5kg|
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