Chris Waller celebrated his second Group 1 win on Victoria Derby Day with classy young stayer Preferment earning talks of a Melbourne Cup bid in 12 months’ time following a gutsy effort in the Victoria Derby 2014.
Then in Flemington Race 7 – the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) – Oliver repeated the feat with his fifth win in Australia’s oldest classic.
His most recent Derby winner was 40-1 outsider Fiveandahalfstar two years ago, today’s winner Preferment a much shorter chance going out at $9 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
The colt was bred for the step-up in distance being a son of great staying sire Zabeel and came off a devastatingly close second in the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) from October 22 when ridden by Oliver for the first time.
Today was Preferment’s first run in Group company, and he was able to achieve a rarity winning the Victoria Derby as a maiden.
“It’s made possible when you’ve got a good horse,” Waller said of getting a maiden to win the Derby.
“The writing was on the wall last start and he’s by a great stallion with Zabeel.”
He battled to the line with the Danny O’Brien-trained Bondeiger ($11), who got the run of the race, and the duo were too strong outpacing Preferment’s last start conqueror, Geelong Classic winner Nozomi ($51) holding for third after leading at the top of the straight.
Royal Standing was best out of the barriers today and had the lead after settling from the Gai Waterhouse-trained favourite Hampton Court, the ninth top fancy in 11 years to go down in the VRC Derby.
Oliver meanwhile had Preferment, who relaxed well for his hoop, settled nicely just off the pace sitting around fourth with roughie shot Nozomi on the rails in fifth.
Onto the straight Nozomi was pushing into a place getting a beautiful run and looking the winner a few hundred metres from the winning post.
But it was Bondiger flying home with Preferment, the two rounding up Nozomi to run the Victoria Derby quinella in a good finish to the top three-year-olds’ race of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“Wasn’t much cover,” Waller noted.
“Turning for home he had a bit of cover which was important.
“He’s a genuine stayer so he’s wound up a long way from home and got the result.”
It wasn’t the prettiest run from today’s Victoria Derby winner who got stuck three deep from the 2000m onwards.
However the flat Flemington track suited him to a tee and his good breeding stood up.
“Very tough,” Oliver said post-win.
“I didn’t have much luck on getting him out.
“Coming into the turn I just wanted to wait…fortunately Magicool came out so I was able to get a bit of tack off him.
Oliver was so impressed with Preferment’s finish he tipped him a horse to watch for the 2015 Melbourne Cup up over the two miles on the first Tuesday of November next spring.
“He could be back here on the Tuesday next year, he’s that type of horse,” he said.
“He’s a real stayer and I think he’s only going to get better.”
Waller confirmed the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) would be the logical target for Preferment next year.
“I guess so,” he said.
“The Melbourne Cup would be the next step I guess and it’s good to know you’ve got a horse good enough to get to that level.”
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2014 Victoria Derby Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 7 – 01/11/2014
|1||13||PREFERMENT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||–||6||55.5kg||$8.50|
|2||9||BONDEIGER Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Danny O’Brien||James Winks||0.2L||1||55.5kg||$11|
|3||7||NOZOMI Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Anthony Freedman||Dwayne Dunn||1.45L||13||55.5kg||$41|
|4||8||LIGHT UP MANHATTAN||Ciaron Maher||Mark Zahra||1.65L||7||55.5kg||$26|
|5||5||MAGICOOL||Mark Kavanagh||Glen Boss||3.65L||15||55.5kg||$16|
|6||15||SAN PADRE||Michael Kent||Tommy Berry||5.9L||2||55.5kg||$26|
|7||12||GOULDIAN||John O’Shea||James McDonald||6.1L||3||55.5kg||$41|
|8||1||HAMPTON COURT||Gai Waterhouse||Kerrin McEvoy||6.6L||11||55.5kg||$2.45F|
|9||14||CUBAN FIGHTER||Robbie Laing||Vlad Duric||8.35L||9||55.5kg||$61|
|10||11||ATMOSPHERE (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Joao Moreira||8.55L||4||55.5kg||$10|
|11||4||FIREHOUSE ROCK Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Nicholas Hall||9.55L||10||55.5kg||$31|
|12||2||MOONOVERMANHATTAN||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||13.3L||12||55.5kg||$7|
|13||16||THE MIGHTY JROD (NZ)||Robbie Laing||Dean Yendall||13.5L||16||55.5kg||$101|
|14||6||LOTION||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||17.25L||5||55.5kg||$151|
|15||10||ROYAL STANDING||Brent Stanley||Damian Lane||17.45L||14||55.5kg||$51|
|16||3||PRENTICE||Simon Foster||Luke Nolen||52.45L||8||55.5kg||$201|
|–||17e||VERREAUX (NZ)||Mark Kavanagh||Blake Shinn||–||0||–||–|