David Payne’s in-form Sydneysider Honorius will on Saturday jump one of the fancies in a very even 2012 Victoria Derby field at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse but does the young colt have the credentials to win the three-year-olds’ classic?
The $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) has this year drawn a final field of 16 hopefuls with Murray Baker’s smart New Zealander It’s A Dundeel topping the bookmaker.com.au markets at an easing $2.80.
There are then three fellow 3YO’s all occupying the second line of Victoria Derby betting at a quote of $7 including Holy Roman Emperor colt Honorius.
Two starts back the up-and-coming stayer ran a good third behind It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) in Sydney, which has proved a nice Derby guide in recent years, before their last-start second to fellow Derby rival Hvasstan in the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m).
With the full Victoria Derby field all seeing the 2500m for the first time this weekend, can Honorius go the distance and turn the tables on their two last start conquerors?
His trainer certainly believes so.
“I know he will run the distance but I know a lot won’t. He hasn’t had much luck at his past two starts,” Payne said.
“Last start he was baulked in the closing stages and he was also a bit unlucky in the Spring Champion Stakes. He was four or five lengths from the leaders when he got out and then he held his ground.”
Below we look at the facts and stats to see if Payne is right and Honorius is a genuine Victoria Derby chance.
#3 Honorius – Horse Form
- Jockey: Corey Brown
- Trainer: David Payne
- Owners: Kia-Ora 2009, Mr D A S Paradice, Mr M Cassar, Mr W A Wilkins, Mr G W Aldridge, Mrs J A Cassar, Mrs C A Wilkins, Mrs S G Aldridge
- Age: 3YO
- Gender: Colt
- Breeding: by Holy Roman Emperor (IRE) from Intikhab (USA) mare Zarinia (IRE)
- Career: 11-2-2-2
- Win: 18.18%
- Place: 54.55%
- Last 6: 1×3232
- Prize Money: $217,350
- Track: 0-0-0-0
- Distance: 0-0-0-0
- Current 2012 Victoria Derby Odds: $7
Why Honorius Can Win the 2012 Victoria Derby
- Has finished in the money in their past five starts
- Is ultra-consistent and may just have been waiting for more distance
- Will be ridden by a former Victoria Derby winning jockey with Corey Brown aboard
- Brown is now familiar with the horse and their racing style having ridden them for their past two starts
- Comes through the Spring Champion (3rd) and Norman Robinson (2nd) which are the two lead-up races last year’s Victoria Derby winner Sangster come through finishing in the exact same positions
- Should get the distance just fine which many of their rivals could struggle to do
Why Honorius Won’t be the Victoria Derby Winner 2012
- Has one of the lowest winning strike rates of the field (18.18%)
- Could make a nicer place bet with a place rate of 54.55%
- Yet to see either the Track or Distance
- Needs to beat the two horses that have gotten the better of them in their past two starts with #1 It’s A Dundeel ($2.80) and #5 Hvasstan ($7)
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