Manawanui Dominates Victoria Derby 2011 Betting & Odds

Following their commanding Moonee Valley win over the weekend, Ron Leemon’s progressive young stayer Manawanui has deservedly reserved their spot at the top of the odds for this Saturday’s 2011 Victoria Derby, but can they break the hoodoo of Vase winners in the Melbourne Cup Carnival classic?

Oratorio gelding Manawanui has been one of the most consistent and impressive gallopers of the current crop of three-year-olds since their third on debut at Canterbury back in March.

Manawanui

Manawanui is out to become the first Vase - Victoria Derby double winner since Efficient (2006)

From their maiden run Manawanui went on to win five straight races in Sydney, including the Group 1 Golden Rose where they upset the likes of Smart Missile and Helmet.

Travelling to Melbourne for the first time Manawanui came up against Peter Snowden’s crack runner Helmet again, this time in the Caulfield Guineas, and this time they had to settle for second.

Back to their brilliant best at Moonee Valley last Saturday, however, Manawanui easily accounted for his five rivals in the Group 2 Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m) saluting in his sixth career success and boosting their earnings to over $1.24 million in prize money.

Their impressive Vase win, where Manawanui relaxed wonderfully for hoop Glyn Schofield over the distance, coming from off the speed to wind up the field and run them down with ease, has seen connections confident ahead of the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on the opening day of the 2011 Melbourne Cup Carnival this Saturday.

Pre-Vase success Manawanui was paying $3.40 in the Victoria Derby odds at Luxbet.

They have since been crunched into $2.35.

While their price is short and their talent undeniable, history is against Manawanui heading into the Derby.

The last horse to complete the Vase-Derby double was Efficient back in 2006 who joined Helenus (2002), Plastered (2004) as winners of the double in a space of five years.

In fact, recent history suggests that it is the Vase placegetters and not the winner who hold the upper hand in the VRC Derby.

Twelve months ago Kiwi galloper Lion Tamer, who tragically had to be put down on Cox Plate Day after breaking their hind leg just a week out from the anniversary of their breakthrough Group 1 win, ran second in the AAMI Vase before their blistering six and a half length success in last year’s Victoria Derby.

In 2008 Mark Kavanagh’s champ Whobegotyou won the AAMI Vase but was regulated to second in the Derby by Rebel Raider while 2007 Vase winner Marching also went under to less-heralded rivals in the Derby when third behind Kibbutz and Littorio.

Currently there are 24 horses fighting for a spot in the capacity 16-starter plus four emergency 2011 Victoria Derby field, final acceptances to be taken on Wednesday morning.

Second elect in the betting is eleventh-hour entry Induna paying $6, and it is Snowden’s eye-catching Geelong Classic winner that Leemon rates the biggest danger to Manawanui in the Derby.

“Peter’s the one I have to watch,” he said.

“Whatever Peter (Snowden) puts up against you, you have to watch out for.

“But if (Manawanui) can stay the 2500 metres, I think he will win.”

Placegetters in the Vase that may have another go at Manwanui in the Derby are Collar (2nd), Scelto (3rd) and I Feel Good (4th) – paying $17, $151 and $101 respectively in the Luxbet markets.

Other more fancied competition for Manwanui include Gai Waterhouse’s Encosta De Lago colt Niagara ($7), Kiwi raider Sangster ($10), Geelong Classic third placegetter Perfect Punch ($13) and Michael Moroney’s Norman Robinson Stakes winner Sabrage ($13).

To lock in your early Victoria Derby selections at the best prices before markets firm with the release on the final field on Wednesday, head to Luxbet now and open your new account with Australia’s best bookie quoting the code BONUSBET for a bonus $500 bet!

Latest 2011 AAMI Victoria Derby Field & Ballot

# Horse Trainer Ballot Weight
1 COLLAR (NZ) Robert Hickmott 3 55.5kg
2 CORNELL Anthony Freedman 11 55.5kg
3 COSTLY COMMITMENT Mick Price 8 55.5kg
4 EAGLE COMMAND Gary Portelli 12 55.5kg
5 FAMOUS BY NAME (NZ) Dean Binaisse 16 55.5kg
6 FAST BUCKS Paul & Tracey Templeton 18 55.5kg
7 I FEEL GOOD Frankie Stockdale 14 55.5kg
8 INDUNA Peter Snowden 5 55.5kg
9 ISOPACH John P Thompson 2 55.5kg
10 MANAWANUI Ron Leemon 1 55.5kg
11 MONSILI Shane A Edwards 23 55.5kg
12 MR CHEZ (NZ) Graeme & Debbie Rogerson 20 55.5kg
13 MUSTANG (NZ) David R Miller 22 55.5kg
14 NIAGARA Gai Waterhouse 10 55.5kg
15 PERFECT PUNCH Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas 7 55.5kg
16 POWER BROKER (NZ) Gai Waterhouse 17 55.5kg
17 RAPIDUS (NZ) Bart Cummings 19 55.5kg
18 SABRAGE Michael Moroney 4 55.5kg
19 SANGSTER (NZ) Trent Busuttin 6 55.5kg
20 SCELTO (NZ) Robbie Laing 9 55.5kg
21 ST CHRISTOPHE (NZ) Danny O’Brien 24 55.5kg
22 THE DEEP SOUTH (NZ) Michael Moroney 15 55.5kg
23 VATUVEI Peter G Moody 21 55.5kg
24 ZABEELIONAIRE (NZ) Leon Corstens 13 55.5kg