Road Trippin Towards Victoria Derby 2012

Stephen Theodore’s young stayer Road Trippin will have their latest start heading towards their 2012 Victoria Derby grand final when they take on star colt Pierro in tonight’s Bill Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley.

The Charge Forward gelding is one of six rivals Gai Waterhouse’s undefeated triple crown champ Pierro will face in the $220,000 Group 2 City Jeep Stutt Stakes (1600m), Moonee Valley Race 7 at 9:45pm, one horse already withdrawn from the feature with the also unbeaten Philippi.

A winner of just one of their nine starts to date, Road Trippin is a $31 roughie in the Bill Stutt Stakes betting markets where the only other credible chance aside from Sydney sensation Pierro ($1.10) is Jimando ($8) coming off successive wins this time in.

Cranbourne-based Theodore however doesn’t expect Road Trippin to win tonight he just wants to see them hit the line strongly as they progress towards the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday November 3.

“I’m very pleased with the way he is going, with the direction we are heading,” Theodore said.

“It’s pointing out the obvious but he’s got a big task ahead taking on Pierro tomorrow night.

“But I’ve got a plan of races heading towards the Derby and I’m not going to change that just because of one horse.

“This will be another box he ticks on his way to the Derby.

“He (Pierro) is just outstanding.

“You dream of getting a horse like him in the stable.

“My bloke is pretty fit and extremely genuine.

“Class will probably prevail but he (Pierro) will have to earn it.”

Road Trippin was one of 80 Victoria Derby 2012 nominations taken by Racing Victoria earlier this week along with fellow Bill Stutt Stakes hopefuls Jimando, Subiaso and Shamexpress.

Theodore came close to winning a Bill Stutt Stakes trophy back in 2006 when his galloper Magic Jet was first over the line, but they were subsequently regulated to second behind Churchill Downs upon protest.

Churchill Downs was ridden by Craig Williams for that event, but the piping hot hoop this year will be aboard Theodore’s mount as they partner with Road Trippin for the first time replacing Darren Gauci.

Following the Bill Stutt Road Trippin is likely to progress onto either the $150,000 Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) on Caulfield Cup Day on October 20, or the $220,000 Group 2 The Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day a week later before running in the Victoria Derby, a race Theodore prepared 2004 third-placegetter Count Ricardo for.

“I’ll also be guided a little bit by what Craig (Williams) has to say. I’ll let him have an input as well,” Theodore said of Road Trippin’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign.

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