Confirmed for on a second Group 1 appearance in this weekend’s major Australian Derby (2400m) on day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick, jockey Tim Clark is confident Singing Flame can go one better than a performance that delivered a second in the Group 2 Nathan Berry Tulloch Stakes (2000m) last weekend.
Opening a commanding lead with only 200 metres left to run, Singing Flame appeared to have secured a winning position until a late charge from eventual winner Gallatin swept through in the final 50 metres to claim the well-contested Group 2 event.
While disappointed in dropping the lead late, Clark told AAP he is confident the team will be far-better for the run this weekend.
“I went from looking like a genius at the furlong (200m) to being a mug, but if I had it over again I wouldn’t have done too much different” Clarke said.
“He had his momentum up so I wanted to keep rolling.”
Likely to contest the 2014 Australian Derby on a soft, rain affected surface similar to that at Rosehill Gardens last weekend, Clark said the inclement weather will do nothing but enhance the chances of the Song Of Tara colt further.
“Any more rain will bring him into it and it makes up for what he might lack in class” Clark added.
With many of the Australian Derby’s final field accepted from a last-start appearance in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m), Clark concluded he is not worried by the avenue taken with Singing Flame leading up to this weekend’s feature.
“History and statistics will probably say the Rosehill Guineas is the best race going into Saturday, but it looks an open Derby to me.”
Securing two wins and two places from eleven race starts to date, Singing Flame has arguably returned to the track in 2014 in career best form, having claimed both victories and one second over five appearances.
Receiving the vast majority of support from punters since final betting markets for the 2014 Australian Derby first opened on Wednesday, Singing Flame has been cut from an opening quote of more than $15 to currently register as clear $11 market mover and fifth favourite.
Having returned to the track in scintillating form this time in, Rosehill Guineas champion Criterion is currently favourite for success in the Australian Derby at $3.70 odds, ahead of Thunder Fantasy ($7), Puccini ($7.50) and Teronado ($10).
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