Eighty three-year-olds have been nominated for the 2012 Victoria Derby this year, three less than the classic attracted 12 months ago.
Held on the first of four Melbourne Cup Carnival race meetings the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) runs on Saturday November 3, three days before the famous Melbourne Cup lights up Flemington Racecourse.
New Zealand-trained horses have won the past two editions of the Victoria Derby with Lion Tamer (2010) and Sangster (2011) and this year another top Kiwi galloper will look to make it three on the trot for our NZ neighbours with Murray Baker’s It’s A Dundeel.
Baker co-trained the ill-fated Lion Tamer for their Derby win two years ago and has a very real chance again this year with High Chaparral colt It’s A Dundeel, formerly known as simply Dundeel.
The youngster is undefeated so far having won all four of their career starts, the last three of which have been achieved in Sydney.
They became a black type winner last Saturday when top New Zealand jockey James McDonald, aboard for all four of the horse’s wins, guided them to a smart victory in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) – the same race that produced last year’s Victoria Derby winner Sangster (eighth to Strike The Stars).
Another undefeated three-year-old featuring in the 2012 Victoria Derby nominations is Michael Kent’s lightly-raced Host colt Philippi who has won their opening two career starts over 1500m in Melbourne.
Other last-start winners in the mix include Tony McEvoy’s smart Adelaide galloper Jimando who took at the Henry Bucks Best Dressed at Flemington this month, the David Payne-trained Redoute’s Choice colt Laser Flash, Michael Moroney’s local Saint Or Sinner who won their Warrnambool debut, and Peter Snowden’s narrow Ming Dynasty Stakes winner Tatra who also ran third to superstar Pierro in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes last season.
It is shaping up as a nice edition of the lucrative three-year-olds’ clash with some of the other more notable nominees 2012 Victoria Derby nominees including:
- All Too Hard (Team Hawkes) – Black Caviar’s half-brother who ran fourth to Shoot Out in the Group 1 George Main Stakes at Randwick, should be more impressive when they get back to Melbourne
- Honorius (David Payne) – Progressive Holy Roman Emperor colt last seen running second to It’s A Dundeel in the Gloaming
- Kabayan (Gai Waterhouse) – Hardasun gelding was runner-up to Sizzling in the Group 1 TJ Smith during the winter, last seen finishing a credible fifth in the Golden Rose over 1400m – will improve getting up in distance
- Lunar Rise (Bart Cummings) – Up-and-coming Starcraft gelding won back-to-back Sydney races before their third in the Gloaming
The next major lead-up race for the Victoria Derby-bound hopefuls will be the $400,000 Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday week, October 6, which Sangaster ran third in on way to their Derby win last spring.
A number of possible Victoria Derby runners are also entered for the $220,000 Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley this Friday night including Jimando, Philippi, Road Trippin’, Subiaso and Shamexpress.
2012 Victoria Derby first acceptances will be taken on October 23 followed by the release of the final field on October 31.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au over the coming weeks for all the latest.
In the meantime get ready for the Victoria Derby betting action, markets due out shortly, by signing up with bookmaker.com.au.
Don’t forget to also quote the codeword BONUSBET when making your first deposit with bookmaker.com.au to receive your complimentary $400 bonus welcome bet!
2012 Victoria Derby Nominations
Flemington – 03/11/2012
|1||ABOUT SQUARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|3||ALI VITAL (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|4||ALL TOO HARD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|7||BEL THOR||Wez Hunter|
|10||BISHOPS CASTLE (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|11||BLACK FUSION (NZ)||Robert Smerdon|
|14||BULLION EXPRESS||Dean Binaisse|
|15||BUNCHLOCH||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan|
|16||CADEL’S GOLD||John & Chris Ledger|
|17||CAITLIN’S SPIRIT (NZ)||Anthony Freedman|
|18||CARRINGBUSH JACK||Leon Corstens|
|19||CORREGGIO (NZ)||Peter G Moody|
|20||COSTA NOVA||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra|
|21||CREAMERY LANE||Austy Coffey|
|22||CRIKEY O’REILLY (NZ)||Jason Warren|
|25||ELECTRIC FUSION||Robert Smerdon|
|26||EPIC CHOICE||Michael Moroney|
|27||EQUAL BILLING (NZ)||Dean Binaisse|
|31||GOOD TO GREAT||Andrew J Payne|
|32||HEATER||John P Thompson|
|33||HEY BIG BENDER||Nigel Blackiston|
|34||HIGH ESTEEM||Peter G Moody|
|37||IF I COULD (NZ)||Mark Kavanagh|
|39||INIGO (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|40||IT’S A DUNDEEL (NZ)||Murray Baker|
|43||KIM COMMAND||Rick Hore-Lacy|
|44||KING OF OLYMPIA||Gai Waterhouse|
|45||LASER FLASH||David Payne|
|46||LUNAR RISE||Bart Cummings|
|47||MACHINE AGE||Michael Moroney|
|48||MALABAR MAN||Michael Kent|
|50||MR PAYNE||Darren Weir|
|52||MY DANCING DUEL (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|54||OUR DESERT WARRIOR||Gai Waterhouse|
|56||PINS OF PELE (NZ)||Anthony Freedman|
|57||PRINCE JESTER (NZ)||Peter G Moody|
|58||PRIORITY ROAD (NZ)||Michael Kent|
|59||PRISONER OF WAR||David Hayes|
|60||PROSPECTOR (NZ)||Bart Cummings|
|62||RAGTIME COWBOY JOE||Matthew Smith|
|64||RIGHT TO ROAM||Pat Carey|
|65||ROAD TRIPPIN||Stephen Theodore|
|66||SAINT OR SINNER (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|68||SENTA DESERT||Lee Freedman & Graeme Rogerson|
|69||SERGEANT AT ARMS||Mark Kavanagh|
|70||SHAMEXPRESS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien|
|71||SHEER TALENT||Mark Kavanagh|
|73||STRENGTH||John P Thompson|
|75||SUPER COOL||Mark Kavanagh|
|77||THE PRINCIPAL||Robbie Griffiths|
|78||TIMELY TRUCE||Ricky Maund|
|79||TROPHIES||John P Thompson|
|80||TWISTED EMOTIONS (NZ)||John O’Shea|