Queensland Derby 2013 First Acceptances Down to 33

There are now just 33 three-year-olds still in with a shot at the 2013 Queensland Derby trophy on Stradbroke Handicap Day Saturday week after first declarations for the June 8 Group 1’s were taken by Racing Queensland today.


Grand Prix Stakes winner Hawkspur is the top rated horse in the latest 2013 Queensland Derby ballot. Photo: Danile Costello.

Originally this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) attracted 120 nominees, a figure cut to just 33 at first acceptance stage.

The number one rated horse in the Queensland Derby 2013 first acceptance ballot is the Chris Waller-trained Hawkspur.

The in-form Purrealist gelding has been flying over the past month winning both the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2100m) at Eagle Farm and the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben last Saturday by a combined 5.5 lengths beating fields full of fellow Derby hopes.

Other first acceptors for the Group 1 that ran in the traditional Grand Prix lead-up include runner-up the Michael Moroney-trained Rhythm To Spare, David Payne’s Holy Roman Emperor colt Honorius (3rd) who also finished second in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate at Randwick on Sydney Cup Day, and Murray Baker’s Frank Packer Plate winner Usainity (4th).

Also still in the mix are the Robert Smerdon-trained Electric Fusion who worked well the Queensland way of going on Tuesday morning at home in Melbourne, Grand Prix Stakes fifth placed Arousing Suspicion, Tony Gollan’s last start Ipswich winner Trakstar and the Chris Waller-trained Fastnet Rock gelding Richie’s Bickies who enjoyed a nice win at Rosehill over 1900m in early May.

Current Queensland Derby odds meanwhile are led by John Bary’s Kiwi visitor Survived, the Zed gelding having won four straight races back home in NZ during the autumn before travelling down under for their second in the Rough Habit.

There are four fillies still heading towards a Derby showdown with the colts and geldings with the Kris Lees-trained duo of Express Power and Soapy Star, Queensland Oaks second fancy for this weekend Gondokoro and The Last Shower.

Notable Derby defectors then include Hippopus and Prince Of Penzance.

Check out the official list of Queensland Derby first acceptances below, the final field to be announced next Wednesday.

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2013 Queensland Derby First Acceptances & Ballot

Eagle Farm Racecourse – 08/06/2013

# Horse Trainer Ballot Weight
1 ALI VITAL (NZ) Michael Moroney 25 57kg
2 AMBITIOUS CHAMPION (NZ) Murray Baker 22 57kg
3 AROUSING SUSPICION Paul Rocke 10 57kg
4 BLACK JET Liam Birchley 20 57kg
5 CELTIC PRINCE (NZ) Bjorn Baker 18 57kg
6 ELECTRIC FUSION Robert Smerdon 8 57kg
7 FAUST (NZ) Danny Williams 14 57kg
8 FIFTH COLUMN Gerard Betros 29 57kg
9 HAWKSPUR Chris Waller 1 57kg
10 HEATER John P Thompson 19 57kg
11 HONORIUS David Payne 2 57kg
12 KENTAUR Shaun McCarthy 15 57kg
13 LASER FLASH David Payne 9 57kg
14 LEE HO FOOK (NZ) Brian Smith 30 57kg
15 LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY Steve Englebrecht 16 57kg
16 PARAGGI (NZ) Shaun Dwyer 26 57kg
17 PRINCE OF SONG (NZ) John P Thompson 33 57kg
18 PRIZE Marcus Wilson 27 57kg
19 RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ) Michael Moroney 13 57kg
20 RICHIE’S BICKIES Chris Waller 11 57kg
21 SAVE THE STAR Ben Ahrens 23 57kg
22 SIR DENZEL (NZ) John O’Shea 17 57kg
23 STAINER (NZ) John P Thompson 32 57kg
24 SURVIVED (NZ) John Bary 7 57kg
25 SWEET AS BRO (NZ) Leon Corstens 28 57kg
26 TONOPAH (USA) Craig Ritchie 24 57kg
27 TRAKSTAR Tony Gollan 12 57kg
28 USAINITY (NZ) Murray Baker 6 57kg
29 ZAGAMI Jeffrey Caught 21 57kg
30 EXPRESS POWER Kris Lees 5 55kg
31 GONDOKORO (NZ) Pat Carey 4 55kg
32 SOAPY STAR Kris Lees 3 55kg
33 THE LAST SHOWER (NZ) Michael Moroney 31 55kg