Twenty-five three-year-olds looking to last the distance over a mile and a half have been paid up for at first acceptance stage for Saturday week’s Queensland Derby 2014.
One of three elite level features running at Eagle Farm Racecourse on June 7 for Stradbroke Handicap Day, this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) originally drew 99 nominations.
There is now only 25 hopefuls left vying for a spot in the capacity 18-starter, five emergency final Queensland Derby field.
Two of those sit equal at the top of the ballot with the Tony Gollan-trained local Amexed and Chris Waller’s Sydney raider Vilanova.
The duo both ran in last Saturday’s Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) with Commands three-year-old Vilanova posting just their third win at start number 22.
Pentire gelding Amexed meanwhile could only manage to finish four lengths away fourth having previously defeated Vilanova (4th) when winning the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) on May 10.
Hawkspur (2013), Brambles (2012), Ice Chariot (2006) and Lachlan River (2005) are the four horses in the past 10 years to back up from the Grand Prix and win the Queensland Derby, last year’s champ achieving the double.
It seems the Grand Prix is again the form line to follow for the Derby with a number more notable first acceptors graduating from that race including second and third place-getters Pinstripe Lane and Rudy.
Troy Corstens’ Victorian visitor Pinstripe Lane won over 1900m at Rosehill the start before but were still beaten three and a half lengths behind Vilanova.
Rudy, prepared on the Gold Coast by Helen Page, meanwhile improved on a Rough Habit fifth for their Grand Prix third just a long neck further away than Pinstripe Lane.
Following Vilanova in the pre-field Queensland Derby odds meanwhile has been David Vandyke’s Dubawi filly Arabian Gold who is one of eight fillies still in the mix.
Arabian Gold is short priced favourite to win the $400,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) this weekend despite having twisted a front plate and half pulled of a shoe on Tuesday morning.
The mishap caused Queensland Oaks markets to be suspended but she’s worked well since and was accepted into the final field for Saturday today, indicating she’s still on track for her Oaks – Derby assault this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Six of the other seven Queensland Derby fillies are also engaged in the Oaks, all except Telepathic who is specifically targeting a run up against the boys and will bypass this weekend’s showdown.
Next best is betting and still in the mix is then the John Sargent-trained Elusive Runner, now 17th in the Queensland Derby ballot.
The Encosta De Lago gelding has run to three in their four most recent starts including a mile win at Goulburn back in April.
Their most recent run was in a Benchmark 73 over 2000m at Randwick last Saturday where they finished an unlucky second to Off The Rails.
The loss has been blamed on a poor ride from Jason Collett who is replaced for the Derby by hoop of the moment Tommy Berry.
In the lucky 18th spot is then the ninth placegetter in that race Our Uncle Archie, but with more likely to defect at final acceptance stage next Wednesday those further down the markets will probably get a start.
See below for the full Queensland Derby 2014 first acceptances and latest order of entry.
Then visit Ladbrokes.com.au and open your account with the country’s fastest growing online bookie to make sure you’re ready to jump in on their updated Stradbroke Handicap Day betting markets!
2014 Queensland Derby First Acceptances & Ballot
Eagle Farm Racecourse – 07/06/2014
|1||AMEXED (NZ)||Tony Gollan||1=||57kg|
|2||VILANOVA (NZ)||Chris Waller||1=||57kg|
|3||ARABIAN GOLD||David Vandyke||3||55kg|
|5||HERA (NZ)||Kris Lees||5||55kg|
|6||STAR FASHION||David Hayes||6||55kg|
|7||EVERY FAITH||Robert Smerdon||7||55kg|
|8||PINSTRIPE LANE (NZ)||Troy Corstens||8||57kg|
|9||HAPPY AS HELL||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||9||57kg|
|10||BRING BACK||Mark Ashby||10||57kg|
|11||ROCK DIVA (NZ)||Tony Pike||11||55kg|
|13||TELEPATHIC (NZ)||Donna Logan||13||55kg|
|16||COLONEL CARRERA (NZ)||Graeme & Debbie Rogerson||16||57kg|
|17||ELUSIVE RUNNER||John Sargent||17||57kg|
|18||OUR UNCLE ARCHIE||Steve Englebrecht||18||57kg|
|19||SANCERRE (NZ)||Tony Pike||19||55kg|
|24||LEVER LEVER (NZ)||Matthew Dunn||24||57kg|
|25||DECKHAND (NZ)||Michael Moroney||25||57kg|