A smart field of 13 three-year-olds has been released for the 2012 Australian Derby at Royal Randwick this Saturday, the talented ensemble headlined by Gai Waterhouse’s Rosehill Guineas winner Laser Hawk.
In an early blow for the Artie Schiller gelding, Laser Hawk has drawn barrier 11 of 13 for the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) as they and jockey Nash Rawiller attempt the Rosehill Guineas – Australian Derby double.
Their big danger on Saturday in the Australian Derby 2012 is set to come from the New Zealand-trained duo of Ocean Park and Silent Achiever who finished two-three behind Laser Hawk in the Rosehill Guineas.
The Gary Hennessy-trained Ocean Park, a late entry into the Derby, has come up trumps with barrier six.
The Thorn Park colt improved leaps and bounds from their eighth behind Mosheen in the Randwick Guineas for their Aussie debut on March 17 to come within a long neck of Laser Hawk in the Rosehill edition last start, jockey Glen Boss retaining the ride for this weekend.
Boss is out for back-to-back Australian Derby victories having won with the Danny O’Brien-trained Shamrocker last year.
Roger James’ New Zealand Derby winner Silent Achiever meanwhile will jump from barrier nine with Hugh Bowman aboard, the daughter of O’Reilly the sole filly in the Australian Derby field this year.
Silent Achiever is looking to go back-to-back for the fillies in the classic following the success of the Shamrocker, also by O’Reilly, in the Australian Derby last year.
If successful she will become just the fifth to do so joining Rose Of Kingston (1982), Tristarc (1985), Research (1989) and of course Shamrocker (2011).
After winning four straight back home in NZ Silent Achiever travelled to Oz for the Rosehill Guineas, her disastrous gate 15 draw ruling her out of the win.
“She had the toughest run in the Rosehill Guineas and still ran third,” James said.
“If she saved half a length anywhere during the race then she wins by a neck.
“She bounced through the Guineas.
“It was a month between runs and she has certainly come on since that race.”
James was originally eyeing off the $550,000 Group 1 ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) against the fillies Saturday week for Silent Achiever but connections were drawn to the Derby’s lucrative prize money and the availability of Bowman to ride.
“The owner (Kevin Hickman) indicated he was keen for Silent Achiever to run in the Derby and I couldn’t put up an argument against it,” James said.
“Hugh Bowman couldn’t ride Silent Achiever in the Oaks as he is on Streama.
“That also had some bearing on the decision to go for the Derby as he knows the filly now.”
Along with Laser Hawk the other last start winner out for successive wins on Saturday is the Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes-trained Polish Knight.
Drawn ideally in barrier two this weekend, Encosta De Lago gelding Polish Knight was an upset Golden Slipper Day winner at Rosehill last Saturday beating home Rekindled Alliance by three quarters of a length in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m).
Tulloch Stakes runner-up Rekindled Alliance has also been accepted into the Australian Derby field.
Other notable hopefuls out to upset the favourites include the Anthony Cummings-trained Strike The Stars drawn on the rails with Craig Williams to ride, Darci Be Good drawn nicely in gate three with Luke Nolen engaged and the lightly-raced Pat Carey-trained Ethiopia to start from barrier 10 for just their fourth race appearance.
Updated Australian Derby betting markets on the final field are due out shortly at bookmaker.com.au.
Make sure you’re ready to get your Randwick bets down at the best prices by opening an account with our No. 1 recommended online bookie bookmaker.com.au today.
2012 Australian Derby Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 7 – 3:35pm – 14/04/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||28321X8030||SANGSTER (NZ)||Trent Busuttin||Jim Cassidy||7||56.5kg||103|
|2||11X131||LASER HAWK||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||11||56.5kg||108|
|3||52315X5275||STRIKE THE STARS (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Craig Williams||1||56.5kg||95|
|4||1312X09605||DARCI BE GOOD (NZ)||Bede Murray||Luke Nolen||3||56.5kg||90|
|5||04313X8640||SABRAGE||Michael Moroney||Glyn Schofield||13||56.5kg||89|
|6||1121282||OCEAN PARK (NZ)||Gary Hennessy||Glen Boss||6||56.5kg||104|
|7||1226X4622||REKINDLED ALLIANCE||Paul Messara||Corey Brown||5||56.5kg||90|
|8||61291||POLISH KNIGHT (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–||2||56.5kg||95|
|10||130X97116||SATIRICAL BOY||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||4||56.5kg||80|
|11||332||ETHIOPIA||Pat Carey||Rhys McLeod||10||56.5kg|
|12||4412267||ON EVERY LEVEL||Scott Aspery||Jay Ford||12||56.5kg||68|
|13||21311113||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||Hugh Bowman||9||54.5kg||103|