This Saturday the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival action moves to Royal Randwick, the day headlined by a triple shot of Group 1 action one of the features of which is the ATC Australian Derby 2012.
Won 12 months ago by the mighty filly Shamrocker this year’s edition of the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) drew 80 nominations when early entries were taken last month.
It is a star studded list of entries for the 2012 Australian Derby the early favourites of which are Laser Hawk and Silent Achiever.
Gai Waterhouse’s brilliant Artie Schiller gelding Laser Hawk backed up from their good third behind Mosheen in the Randwick Guineas to score their maiden Group 1 win last start in the Rosehill Guineas (2000m).
Rosehill Guineas favourite was Roger James’ New Zealand Derby winning filly Silent Achiever who was far from disgraced when finishing less than a length away third in the race after missing the kick from their horror barrier 15 (of 18).
Runner-up in the Rosehill Guineas was another Kiwi galloper in Ocean Park, the Gary Hennesy-trained Thorn Park colt missing from the Australian Derby nominations.
They remain one of the early fancies in the futures betting at bookmaker.com.au and connections have until today to pay the Australian Derby late entry.
Laser Hawk is one of seven entries for Waterhouse, who scored her fourth Golden Slipper victory on the weekend with Pierro and who will be out for her maiden Australian Derby triumph, her other representative being Satirical Boy.
Satirical Boy will be ridden by Tommy Berry on Saturday the Fusaichi Pegasus gelding out to improve on the Tulloch Stakes sixth.
“Tommy thought if he had better luck on Saturday he would have been right in the finish,” Tulloch Lodge spokesman Mark Newnham said of Satirical Boy.
Two of the other most notable three-year-olds coming off a turf triumph are then Mosheen and Polish Knight, both winners on Golden Slipper Day.
A decision from trainer Robert Smerdon on whether flying filly Mosheen, now a four time elite level winner thanks to her victory in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m), will go to the Derby is pending.
Other options include the $550,000 Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 21 or the spelling paddock.
The Hawkes-trained Encosta De Lago gelding Polish Knight meanwhile scored a massive upset when they beat home Rekindled Alliance in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
Tulloch Stakes runner-up Rekindled Alliance, third placed Isopach and fourth placegetter Iggi Pop have also all be nominated for the Australian Derby this weekend.
Other big name players among the Australian Derby 2012 nominations include Peter Snowden’s Randwick and Rosehill Guineas fourth placed Ambidexter, Pat Carey’s lightly-raced Ethiopia and the Anthony Cummings-trained Australian Guineas runner-up Strike The Stars.
Piping hot hoop Craig Williams has been booked to partner Strike The Stars in the Australian Guineas this weekend, the horse’s regular rider Blake Shinn serving a suspension.
“I thought his Rosehill Guineas run was pretty good considering he covered ground,” Cummings said of Strike The Stars who ran fifth in the even last-start.
“He was still strong across the line.”
Stay tuned to Races.com.au to view the 2012 Australian Derby final field of acceptances and barrier draw once released on Wednesday.
In the meantime, get ready to back your favourites for all the Randwick races this weekend by signing up with the Aussie-owned bookie that rewards its customers better – bookmaker.com.au.
2012 Australian Derby Nominations
Royal Randwick – 14/04/2012
|1||AD VICTORIAM||Neville & Christopher Voigt|
|3||ALL CONQUERING||Jason Warren|
|7||BIG TIME||Chris Waller|
|9||CHATEAU MARGAUX||Peter G Moody|
|10||CHICHARITA (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|12||DANY THE FOX (NZ)||Michael Kent|
|13||DARCI BE GOOD (NZ)||Bede Murray|
|15||DOCTOR DOOM||Guy Walter|
|16||DUBOSC (NZ)||Kevin Myers|
|17||DUEL LOVER (NZ)||Nigel Blackiston|
|19||ENABLING (NZ)||Robert Hickmott|
|22||FAT AL||Gai Waterhouse|
|23||FLASH ALBERT||Anthony Cummings|
|24||FLASHY FELLA (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|25||FREE WHEELING||Peter Snowden|
|27||GRAND SAI WAN||Anthony Cummings|
|28||HEAVEN’S RICHES||Robbie Laing|
|29||HIGHLY RECOMMENDED||Peter G Moody|
|31||I FEEL GOOD||Frankie Stockdale|
|32||IGGI POP (NZ)||John O’Shea|
|33||IMPERIAL GRAND||Anthony Cummings|
|35||ISOPACH||John P Thompson|
|36||JOY’S CHOICE (NZ)||Graeme & Debbie Rogerson|
|37||JUSTWARMINGUP (NZ)||Michael Kent|
|38||KING SAUL||Trevor Andrews|
|40||LASER HAWK||Gai Waterhouse|
|41||LUCRIPETOUS (NZ)||Chris Waller|
|42||MERLIN MUSTANG||Michael J Murphy|
|43||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody|
|46||ON EVERY LEVEL||Scott Aspery|
|47||OUTLAW PRINCE||Anthony Cummings|
|48||PETER PIPER (NZ)||John Sargent|
|50||POLISH KNIGHT (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|53||RAPIDUS (NZ)||Bart Cummings|
|54||REKINDLED ALLIANCE||Paul Messara|
|55||ROCK ’N’ POP||Jason Bridgman|
|57||SAID COM (NZ)||Chris Waller|
|58||SANGSTER (NZ)||Trent Busuttin|
|59||SATIRICAL BOY||Gai Waterhouse|
|60||SCELTO (NZ)||Robbie Laing|
|61||SHE GOES TO RIO (NZ)||Anthony Cummings|
|62||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James|
|65||STRAWBERRY BOY||Gai Waterhouse|
|66||STRIKE THE STARS (NZ)||Anthony Cummings|
|67||SUPREME WARRIOR (NZ)||Leon Corstens|
|68||SYSMO (FR)||Tony McEvoy|
|69||THAT’S THE ONE||Colin & Cindy Alderson|
|70||THE GREAT SNOWMAN (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse|
|71||THY (NZ)||Peter G Moody|
|72||TOHUNGA (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse|
|74||TOTAL ATTRACTION||Peter G Moody|
|75||TOWER OF LONHRO||Jason Warren|
|77||VATUVEI||Peter G Moody|
|79||WORLD DOMINATION||David Hayes|
|80||ZABEELIONAIRE (NZ)||Leon Corstens|