Paul Messara’s nicely bred Redoute’s Choice colt Rekindled Alliance will look to improve on their promising autumn form so far with an upset win in the 2012 Australian Derby at Royal Randwick this Saturday.
One of 13 acceptors for this year’s $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m), running as Randwick Race 7 at 3:35pm on Saturday, Rekindled Alliance was one of the big winners in the Australian Derby barrier draw.
Coming up with gate five with Corey Brown engaged, Rekindled Alliance comes off two good seconds in Group 2 company in Sydney.
Third-up they finished a long neck away from Colorado Claire in the Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill before going up to the 2000-metres last Saturday on Golden Slipper Day to cross three quarters of a length away second to Polish Knight in the Tulloch Stakes.
They will now race in just their second thoroughbred major on Saturday, Rekindled Alliance having run sixth to Doctor Doom in last spring’s Spring Champion Stakes over 2000-metres at Randwick, Messara happy with the way they have come through the Tulloch Stakes.
“He has come through that run very well and all we need now is a barrier,” Messara said earlier in the day before news of the horse’s good barrier was known.
“If you look at his record he has never drawn well, and if he does in the Derby I think he will be able to close and really show his turn of foot.”
It is a top Australian Derby field this year with upset Tulloch Stakes winner Polish Knight also accepted to back up at Royal Randwick, the Hawkes-trained gelding coming up trumps with barrier two.
The big name players dominating the early Australian Derby odds at bookmaker.com.au are then the Rosehill Guineas trifecta with the Gai Waterhouse-trained winner Laser Hawk, runner-up Ocean Park who was a Derby late entry and third placed Silent Achiever.
Roger James’ New Zealand Derby winner Silent Achiever, who jumped favourite in the Rosehill Guineas before being beaten by a horror gate and unlucky run, will be out to become just the fifth Australian Derby winning filly in history, Shamrocker having broken a 22-year drought for the females in the classic last year.
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