Second favourite for tonight’s Tasmanian Derby 2015 at Hobart Racecourse, Shiralee is set for a big run according to his trainer Gary White who has always held a high opinion of the son of Stratum.
The gelding is one of 10 three-year-olds in the field for the $100,000 Listed Schweppes Tasmanian Derby (2200m) and is also one of the top three in betting to win through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Markets are led by market mover Baja Moon, one of two interstate visitors, with the Patrick Payne-trained High Chaparral filly paying $3.60 to win her first start at Hobart.
Top local hope Shiralee meanwhile is hot on her heels at $3.70 before Stawell-based Melbournite Dandy Gent ($3.80) rounds out the top three chances according to the Tasmanian Derby odds.
Drawn well in barrier three for jockey Dean Yendall, White’s Derby prospect is up over 2200m for the first time but was competitive over just 100m less last time out.
After a first-up sixth to Barry Campbell’s ace youngster Admiral in the Listed Tasmanian Guineas (1600m) on January 11 he stepped up in distance for the Listed Hobart Guineas (2100m) on January 25.
There he was only a nose off the winner Warrior Of Fire, a performance White believes he can improve enough on to take home the black-type under the lights in the Apple Isle tonight.
“He’s come through his previous race really well he’s in great order,” White told TasRacing.
“All he needs now is probably just a similar run through the race and a little bit of luck and hopefully for (owners) Dave and Louise (Adams) and the team it’s their day.”
White was told by Mr. Adams to put a lid on his excitement over the staying prospects of the youngster who he first rated as one to watch over further after reports from jockey Cory Parish in December when the youngster first went out over a mile.
“I mentioned quite some time ago that I thought he’d turn into quite a nice Derby horse and they told me not get too carried away and I just put a lid on it,” he joked today.
Since then the horse has gone from strength to strength heading into the Derby, which was always the race the Brighton-based White wanted to target with him.
White, who won the Tasmanian Derby two years ago with bold front-runner Ollie’s Gold who runs in Monday’s $225,000 Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m), also said he was more than happy with Yendall to retain the ride on Shiralee.
“Dean’s such a wonderful rider and he rides him during the week,” he said.
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