Two gun three-year-olds are battling for favouritism in the all-in Australian Derby 2015 odds with Preferment and Volkstok’n’barrell the two to beat in Saturday’s Royal Randwick classic.
The duo sit first and second respectively in the pre-field Ladbrokes.com.au markets for this year’s $2 million Group 1 BMW Australian Derby (2400m), the set weights clash one of four elite levels on Day One of The Championships.
Forty-four three-year-olds are still officially in the mix for the Australian Derby, the field for which is due for release tomorrow morning by Racing NSW.
Current $3.50 top fancy before the field announcement is Chris Waller’s Zabeel col Preferment, the up-and-comer bred for the mile and a half he’s out over on the weekend.
Waller has had four runners in the Australian Derby over the years but has never run top three, something he hopes to change with his Victoria Derby winner Preferment.
The colt did it over 2500m at Flemington during the spring and is now out to improve on his last start second when beaten just a nose in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 21.
Rosehill Guineas winner Volkstok’n’barrell is then the $4 second pick to win this weekend, the Donna Logan-trained Kiwi looking to become the second New Zealand-trained Australian Derby winner in three years following the success of It’s A Dundeel (2013).
The Tavistock gelding was runner-up to Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 NZ Derby (2400m) in late February before travelling across the Tasman for his narrow Rosehill Guineas win he’ll be out to repeat on Saturday.
The other two single figure hopes for the Derby win are then market mover Hauraki ($5) and the aforementioned NZ Derby winner Mongolian Khan ($8).
The John O’Shea-trained Reset colt Hauraki entered the Derby picture last weekend at Rosehill with his tidy two and a half-length victory in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m), which last produced an Australian Derby winner in 2004 with Starcraft.
Murray Baker meanwhile won the Derby with It’s A Dundeel two years ago and returns in 2015 with Holy Roman Emperor colt Mongolian Khan fresh off a fifth on debut down under in the Rosehill Guineas he’ll be improving on when back up to 2400m.
The best of the double figure hopes under $20 to score an upset Australian Derby result are then the John Sargent-trained Tulloch Stakes runner-up Omeros ($11) who made his black-type debut last weekend, Bart & James Cummings’ improving Medaglia D’Oro colt Ruling Dynasty ($13) and Waller’s Tulloch Stakes fourth past the post Quick Strike ($17).
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