Worth $2 million in prize money, the Australian Derby is one of four Group One races running at Randwick on April 4, which is day one of The Championships.
The Bart & James Cummings-trained Hallowed Crown is the headliner of the field after winning his two starts this campaign. When nominations were taken on February 9, the three-year-old colt had yet to have his first start of the season, last seen winning the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) and running fourth in the Group 2 Roman Consul (1200m) in the spring.
Hallowed Crown resumed in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) on February 21, winning a short head in front of Sweynesse. Two weeks later, the pair went head-to-head once again in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m), with Hallowed Crown emerging victorious once again but this time by three-quarters of a length.
He is nominated for both the Australian Derby and Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 4, along with rival Sweynesse.
Top Sydney trainer Chris Waller had initially nominated five three-year-olds for the 2015 Australian Derby but has failed to accept with Glorious Prospect, leaving just Kermadec, Preferment, Quick Strike, and Amicus.
Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) winner Kermadec was the short favourite to win the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on Saturday but failed to outrun the first three home. It was the third start for Kermadec this campaign, after he also ran fourth in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) and third in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m).
Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) winner Preferment also began his campaign on the outs, running third last in the Hobartville Stakes and last in the Randwick Guineas. The three-year-old colt should relish the return to running over 2000 metres in the Australian Derby.
Quick Strike has yet to make his debut in black-type racing while Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) winner Amicus is one of just four fillies featured in the first acceptances. The others are Team Hawkes’ Maastricht and Nakataan, and John Sargent’s Thunder Lady.
Check out the complete list of 2015 Australian Derby first acceptances below.
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2015 Australian Derby First Acceptances
|1||BERSERK||Lee & Anthony Freedman||56.5kg||N/A|
|3||BLADEMEISTER||Peter & Paul Snowden||56.5kg||68|
|4||BROGUE (NZ)||Steve Englebrecht||56.5kg||N/A|
|5||CAPED CRUSADER (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||56.5kg||67|
|6||COLOUR OF MONEY||Bart & James Cummings||56.5kg||66|
|7||DIAMOND VALORES (NZ)||Peter & Paul Snowden||56.5kg||N/A|
|8||DUCK DYNASTY (NZ)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||56.5kg||N/A|
|9||GENERAL JAMES (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||56.5kg||N/A|
|10||GENERAL ZABEEL (NZ)||John P Thompson||56.5kg||N/A|
|12||HAKUNA MATATA||Pat Carey||56.5kg||N/A|
|13||HALLOWED CROWN||Bart & James Cummings||56.5kg||N/A|
|14||HAMPTON COURT||Gai Waterhouse||56.5kg||N/A|
|16||HENRY’S ON COURSE||Stephen Hill||56.5kg||N/A|
|18||HIGH MIDNIGHT||Bart & James Cummings||56.5kg||N/A|
|19||HIGH SEAS||Bjorn Baker||56.5kg||N/A|
|20||KERMADEC (NZ)||Chris Waller||56.5kg||N/A|
|21||LIE DIRECT||Steve Englebrecht||56.5kg||61|
|23||MASTER AGAR||Ron Quinton||56.5kg||66|
|24||MERION (NZ)||Michael Moroney||56.5kg||N/A|
|25||MONGOLIAN KHAN||Murray Baker||56.5kg||N/A|
|26||NAZIR (NZ)||Bart & James Cummings||56.5kg||N/A|
|27||NORMAN RULES||Colin & Cindy Alderson||56.5kg||N/A|
|31||PREFERMENT (NZ)||Chris Waller||56.5kg||N/A|
|32||QUICK STRIKE||Chris Waller||56.5kg||70|
|33||RAMSDEN STREET||Colin & Cindy Alderson||56.5kg||N/A|
|34||RHODIN DRIVE||Gwenda Markwell||56.5kg||63|
|35||RULING DYNASTY||Bart & James Cummings||56.5kg||65|
|36||SADDLER’S FLAME||Kevin Moses||56.5kg||62|
|38||TRIPLE GOLD||Peter G Moody||56.5kg||N/A|
|39||VOLKSTOK’N’BARRELL (NZ)||Donna Logan||56.5kg||N/A|
|40||ZABEELIONS (NZ)||Gerald Ryan||56.5kg||N/A|
|42||MAASTRICHT (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||54.5kg||77|
|43||NAKATAAN (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||54.5kg||N/A|
|44||THUNDER LADY (NZ)||John Sargent||54.5kg||N/A|