This Saturday one of the four Group 1 Flemington races kicking off the Melbourne Cup Carnival is the 2014 Victoria Derby where Chris Waller will shoot for his maiden win in the classic with the nicely-bred Preferment.
A full field of 16, plus an emergency, run in the weekend’s $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) including four at single figures through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Favourite and the market mover is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Spring Champion Stakes winner Hampton Court ($2.60) in his Victorian debut.
The next best in betting is then fellow Sydneysider Preferment for Waller who is confident the son of Zabeel can live up to his breeding and go the distance.
The colt is a maiden after six starts but has come close and been luckless in defeat on a number of occasions including last time out at Geelong on October 22.
There Damien Oliver, who has ridden four Victoria Derby winners including Fiveandahalfstar (2012), rode him for a close second to Nozomi when a nose away in the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m).
The form coming out of that race has held up on a number of occasions and while you have to go back 40 years to find the last Geelong Classic – Derby double winner, the placegetters are in with a strong chance historically speaking.
So can Preferment make the step up in distance and class and break his maiden status with a Victoria Derby win this weekend?
Victoria Derby Horse Form: #13 Preferment
- Barrier: 6
- Weight: 55.5kg
- Jockey: Damien Oliver
- Trainer: Chris Waller
- Owners: Mrs L F Huddy, Woppitt Bloodstock, Mr I Bruce, Mr G L Huddy, Magic Bloodstock Racing, Mr R Smith, Mr B L Mathieson, Mr K H Warriner, Mr J T C Lake, Mr F W Cook, Mrs C M Cook, G G Ltd
- Age: 3YO
- Gender: Colt
- Breeding: by Zabeel (NZ) from Better Alternative
- Career: 6-0-3-1
- Win: 0%
- Place: 67%
- Last 6: 732242
- Prize Money: $42,905
- Track: 0-0-0-0
- Distance: 0-0-0-0
- Current 2014 Victoria Plate Odds: $6
Why Preferment Can Win the 2014 Victoria Derby
- Drawn ideally in barrier six which last produced a Victoria Derby winner in 2007 with Kibbutz
- Jumped form eight (of 14) last time out and thrived from that position so will be right in the finish again here
- Has Damien Oliver staying on who knows the horse and boasts four Victoria Derby wins since 1983 including Fiveandahalfstar (2012) two years ago
- Favourites have a poor recent record (2 wins in 10 years) suggesting an upset is possible
- Was only a nostril flare away from the Geelong Classic win over 2200m last time out
- Will be improving off that run
- Bred to go the distance being a son of Zabeel
Why Preferment Won’t be the 2014 Victoria Derby Winner
Chris Waller is yet to prepare a Victoria Derby winner
Is still a maiden after six starts so needs to learn how to win
Has only been in black-type company once and never tested at Group level
0% Win Rate but good 67% Place Rate so could be a better place bet
Has never been over the track or distance
Is on the ease in the markets
Think Preferment has what it takes to win the Victoria Derby in an upset over Hampton Court?
Then lock him in at the hottest odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au where for just $3 you could win $3 million this Saturday with the MegaPick promo!