This morning Racing Victoria released the final acceptances for the 2011 Victoria Derby running this Saturday on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, pronounced favourite Manawanui to face a full field of 15 rivals.
Highlighting a crack nine-race program at Flemington on Saturday, the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) is set to run as Race 6 at 3:00pm (AEDST) and had drawn a field of 16 starters plus two emergencies.
Carrying the No. 1 saddlecloth as the highest-rated and best-fancied of this year’s Victoria Derby field is of course Ron Leemon’s ultra-consistent Manawanui.
Dominating the Victoria Derby odds and betting at Luxbet, three-year-old Oratorio gelding Manawanui steps up to 2500 metres for the first time on Saturday seeking their seventh career success from nine starts and their second at elite level adding to their upset Golden Rose victory in Sydney last month.
Prior to the release of the Victoria Derby final field, Manawanui was paying $2.35 to win the Derby, a price certain to firm now the starting line-up has been confirmed.
All of major Victoria Derby players were accepted for the final field with no surprise omissions.
Dropping out of contention at acceptance stage today were the Famous By Name (Dean Binaisse), Fast Bucks (Paul & Tracey Templeton), Power Broker (Gai Waterhouse), St Christophe (Danny O’Brien), The Deep South (Michael Moroney) and Vatuvei (Peter G Moody).
The two Victoria Derby 2011 emergencies are the David Miller-trained Kiwi visitor Mustang and Shane Edward’s last-start Perth winner Monsili.
Horses considered to be the biggest danger to Manawanui on Saturday are:
- Induna (Peter Snowden) – Confidence high in the Darley camp for this Elusive Quality gelding, connections paying a hefty late entry fee to get them into the Derby field following their commanding three-and-a-half length Geelong Classic victory, Kerrin McEvoy rides
- Niagara (Gai Waterhouse) – Progressive Encosta De Lago colt comes off a third in the Norman Robinson Stakes, is bred for the distance and Waterhouse is talking them up as is jockey Nash Rawiller
- Sangster (Trent Busuttin) – Out to secure back-to-back wins for the Kiwis in the Derby following Lion Tamer’s success 12 months ago, comes off good form this season including their third in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick and narrow second in the Norman Robinson, set to improve over the distance
- Perfect Punch (Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas) – Macdonald scored the Caulfield Cup with Southern Speed a fortnight ago and is hoping is Derby hope can pack a punch on the day and turn the tables having run a last-start third in the Geelong Classic, comes back in weights and just need the right draw to be in contention
See below for the full 2011 AAMI Victoria Derby field and jockeys.
The Victoria Derby barrier draw will follow shortly so bookmark us here at Races.com.au.
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2011 Victoria Derby Final Field
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||311X11121||MANAWANUI||Ron Leemon||Glyn Schofield||55.5kg||108|
|2||67513X0718||ISOPACH||John P Thompson||Joao Moreira||55.5kg||84|
|3||1X4132||COLLAR (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||55.5kg||80|
|4||1X0431||SABRAGE||Michael Moroney||Damien Oliver||55.5kg||88|
|5||10X12832||SANGSTER (NZ)||Trent Busuttin||Hugh Bowman||55.5kg||84|
|6||331113||PERFECT PUNCH||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Ms Clare Lindop||55.5kg||78|
|7||0X88X37311||INDUNA||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||55.5kg||80|
|8||1X43134||COSTLY COMMITMENT||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||55.5kg||70|
|9||36X3513493||SCELTO (NZ)||Robbie Laing||Dwayne Dunn||55.5kg||66|
|10||42X213||NIAGARA||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||55.5kg||74|
|11||3212592||CORNELL||Anthony Freedman||Craig Williams||55.5kg||68|
|12||0127||EAGLE COMMAND||Gary Portelli||Dean Yendall||55.5kg||67|
|13||9245||ZABEELIONAIRE (NZ)||Leon Corstens||Stephen Baster||55.5kg||66|
|14||72X494||I FEEL GOOD||Frankie Stockdale||Brenton Avdulla||55.5kg||62|
|15||549X551||RAPIDUS (NZ)||Bart Cummings||Steven Arnold||55.5kg||62|
|16||51034||MR CHEZ (NZ)||Graeme & Debbie Rogerson||Michael Rodd||55.5kg||64|
|17e||437119||MUSTANG (NZ)||David R Miller||Corey Brown||55.5kg||65|
|18e||0X7771||MONSILI||Shane A Edwards||Luke Currie||55.5kg||60|