Prince Jester has emerged as the possible horse to chase back-to-back titles in the 2013 Queensland Derby (2400m) for leading Victorian trainer Peter Moody.
Moody took out Queensland’s biggest three-year-old with Brambles last year and Prince Jester signalled his readiness to step up with a convincing win at Sandown on Wednesday.
Taking on the older horses in an 1800m benchmark 78 handicap, the son of Golan was explosive in the finish as he powered clear of his rivals to win by 4 1/2 lengths.
It was just his seventh career start and in a glowing endorsement for his Derby chances, jockey Luke Nolen said there is plenty of improvement to come.
“He will only continue to improve once he gets over a longer trip,” Nolen said post race.
“It was good to see him travel kindly for me for most of the journey. He has a good strong kick at the end of these races.”
The progressive three-year-old now shares the fourth line of betting in the Queensland Derby betting market at $11.
The market is likely for the three-year-old feature could change significantly after this weekend, with many hopefuls contesting the traditional lead-up race in the Group 3 2013 Rough Habit Plate.
Among those are current Derby favourite Survived ($6) who is set to start as favourite on Australian debut.
The John Bary-trained stayer has won his past four starts which included a 4 1/2 length Hawkes Bay Cup romp on April 27.
The major query about Survived this weekend would appear to be his first test in the right-handed direction.
“We work right-handed and he gallops right-handed but race day pressure is another thing. If he handles that way of going then we are a good chance,” Bary told News Limited.
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