Futures betting on the 2012 Queensland Derby has been thrown wide open with news the Gai Waterhouse-trained top fancy Fat Al will be spelled immediately and bypass the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Undefeated this season Al Maher gelding Fat Al was last seen taking out the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick on Sydney Cup Day, their second Group 3 success on the trot following a two length victory in the Carbine Cub Stakes a fortnight earlier.
Installed at the top of the bookmaker.com.au markets for the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9 Fat Al was paying around $4 to take out the Brisbane classic.
Boasting bucket-loads of potential, Fat Al was tipped as being better than just a Queensland winter horse by jockey after their most recent turf triumph.
It seems connections agree.
Waterhouse said there was nothing amiss with the up and comer but that he had “come to the end of it” and she wouldn’t risk over racing him at this early stage of their career.
“He has gone to the paddock, he has gone on holiday and a well-earned rest and he is twiddling his hoofs at present,” she said.
“He had just come to the end of it.
“He looked terrific but my job is to monitor them and if I am not 110 per cent happy, you only get a very short break at this time of year to give them a spell and if you over cook it by a couple of weeks you have lost the time out.
“The reason I turn them out is that they are growing all the time and I like them to get out in the paddock with the sun on their backs, mooching around and a change of atmosphere which is very good for both horses and people.”
The Queensland Derby is unlikely to feature either of its two original headliners with managing part-owner Brad Spicer announcing today that last weekend’s South Australian Derby winner Zabeelionaire would also miss the event in favour of being rested ahead of a 2012 Caulfield Cup campaign in Melbourne during the spring.
Spicer however said that Fat Al’s withdrawal would see them reconsider and that Zabeelionaire could still go to the Queensland Derby.
While Zabeelionaire is not out 100% one horse that definitely won’t be accepted for the Queensland Derby field aside from Fat Al is the Anthony Cummings-trained Strike The Stars.
Co-favourite with eventual winner Zabeelionaire in the SA Derby last Saturday Savabeel gelding Strike The Stars could only manage to finish three and a half lengths away fourth and will now be sent to the paddock.
New likely favourite in the updated Queensland Derby odds with the above top trio out is New Zealand Oaks winning filly Miss Artistic.
The Shaune Ritchie-trained daughter of Darci Brahma made her Australian debut last Saturday running fourth to Scorpio Queen in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m), and is set for improvement as she gets back up in distance.
Our preferred online bookie bookmaker.com.au will open their readjusted Queensland Derby betting odds shortly.
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