Visiting Kiwi galloper Werther has opened red hot favourite to salute at elite level in Brisbane on Saturday with a win over a capacity field in the 2015 Queensland Derby at Doomben Racecourse.
Running as Race 7 at 2:57pm (AEST) on Stradbroke Handicap Day, this year’s $600,000 Group 1 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2200m) drew 19 final acceptors, 16 in the starting line-up.
One of those, the Peter Moody-trained Inauguration has been scratched paving the way for the first emergency Allzin to gain a run as the $201 roughie of the field through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Ladbrokes are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on your winnings on the Queensland Derby, plus the two other Group 1 races on the Doomben line-up for Saturday, and for the three-year-olds’ classic it is the Andrew Campbell-trained Werther topping the markets at $2.80.
Drawn the rails in barrier one with jockey Jim Byrne to ride, a gate that last produced a Queensland Derby winner in 2010 with Dariana, Campbell’s Tavistock gelding Werther comes off two good runs down under.
The first was a second to Delicacy in the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 9 and then he travelled to Brisbane for an ideal Derby trial winning last Saturday’s Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) against a field of older rivals.
Despite the size of the Queensland Derby field only one other three-year-old is under $10 in the latest markets to win with the market mover Master Of Arts firming in from $6 to $5.
Drawn out in gate 13 for jockey Glen Boss, Mastercraftsman colt Master Of Arts has won two of his five career starts to date, most recently over 2000m at Caulfield on May 2.
He then travelled to Brisbane for the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2020m) at Doomben on May 23 where he ran a brave third beaten only one and a half lengths by Upham in a race that has recently produced Queensland Derby winners Hawkspur (2013) and Brambles (2012).
Occupying the third line of Queensland Derby betting at an equal $10 are then the Peter Moody-trained Grand Prix Stakes winner Upham drawn in gate 12 and the Chris Waller-trained Sadler’s Lake out wide in 18.
Upham comes off a string of top runs including a Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1800m) second at the Gold Coast, a second in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) and then his Grand Prix win last time out with Kerrin McEvoy retaining the ride.
Sadler’s Lake meanwhile has Blake Shinn in the saddle again this weekend looking to hand Waller with another Queensland Derby win following the success of the aforementioned Hawkspur from two years ago.
The High Chaparral gelding beat Upham in the Rough Habit Plate two back before his Grand Prix Stakes fifth he’ll be out to improve on in the Group 1 despite the awkward barrier.
The only other hopeful under $21 in the markets is then Magicool ($18) in gate 17 with James Winks riding, the Mark Kavanagh-trained Fastnet Rock gelding coming off a 2000m win at Flemington from a fortnight ago after a SA Derby fourth over 500m further in Adelaide.
Check out the latest Queensland Derby 2015 odds below, heading to Ladbrokes.com.au to lock in your selections at the right price and enjoy up to $500 in bonus bets when you first sign-up, deposit and quote the code BETBONUS!