Chris Waller’s flying Spring Champion Stakes winner Vanbrugh is still on way to a 2015 Victoria Derby run in Melbourne Saturday week with the colt one of 33 first acceptances for the Flemington classic this week.
Running as one four elite levels on the first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival on October 31, this year’s $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) originally attracted 97 nominations in September.
That figure was cut to only 33 with Victoria Derby first declarations closing on Tuesday.
One of the headline first acceptors is Waller’s son of Encosta De Lago colt Vanbrugh who boast four wins from nine starts to date, all in Sydney, including the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) on October 10 at Randwick.
Currently Vanbrugh occupies the second line of futures Victoria Derby betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, home of Best Tote or SP + 20% on this weekend’s Cox Plate Day races, paying $6 to hand Waller with back-to-back wins following his success with Preferment (2014) 12 months ago.
Vanbrugh sits number one on the Victoria Derby ballot and is the sole remaining chance for last year’s winning trainer.
The early favourite in the all-in Victoria Derby odds at $3.60 is the Mick Price-trained Tarzino, the Tavistock colt also still in the mix.
He has won two from four to date but could only manage to cross seventh behind Press Statement last time out in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m), a performance the bookmakers are tipping him to improve on when out over more distance.
Price also has 33rd on the Victoria Derby order of entry Coller Bay accepted for at first declaration stage.
The next best in the Victoria Derby markets are the Stuart Webb-trained Excellent Art colt Get The Picture ($8) last seen crossing fourth in the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last weekend and the undefeated Kia Ora Koutou ($10).
Prepared by Lark Hill horseman Adam Durrant, Western Australian-trained Blackfriars gelding Kia Ora Koutou has won all four of his career starts to date over in Perth but is as yet tested interstate or in black-type company.
Still, he has winning form up to 2200m from the start of the month, a big advantage heading towards the 2500m of the Victoria Derby.
Following Vanbrugh in the Victoria Derby ballot post-first acceptances meanwhile are the Pat Hyland-trained Sebring colt Lizard Island, Encosta De Lago colt Sovereign Nation for David Hayes & Tom Dabernig and UCI Stakes winner over 1800m Ayers Rock.
Lizard Island is in ace form this preparation and is a dual runner-up at Flemington from as many starts.
His last two runs both produced a second at Caulfield firstly in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas over the mile and then the Norman Robinson Stakes over 2000m on Caulfield Cup Day.
Sovereign Nation meanwhile has winning form up to 1600m at Moonee Valley having won the Group 2 Stutt Stakes two back before a fourth in the Caulfield Guineas as a 21/1 shot last time out he’ll be out to improve on.
A number of Victoria Derby-bound hopefuls face off in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) this Saturday on Cox Plate Day including Sovereign Nation and the favourite Tarzino.
The 2015 Victoria Derby final field is out on Wednesday October 28, so before then make sure you back your early picks at the hottest odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au!
2015 Victoria Derby First Declarations
Flemington Racecourse – 31/10/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight|
|2||22×632122||LIZARD ISLAND||C||3||Pat Hyland||2||55.5kg|
|3||1714||SOVEREIGN NATION||C||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||3||55.5kg|
|4||5×00818217||AYERS ROCK||C||3||Shawn Mathrick||4||55.5kg|
|5||1111||KIA ORA KOUTOU||G||3||Adam Durrant||5||55.5kg|
|6||5×137133||MAN OF CHOICE||G||3||Luke Price||6||55.5kg|
|7||22124||GET THE PICTURE||C||3||Stuart Webb||7||55.5kg|
|8||3117||TARZINO (NZ)||C||3||Mick Price||8||55.5kg|
|10||0x1160||KENTUCKY FLYER||C||3||Robbie Laing||10||55.5kg|
|11||31×69358||GOLD AMBITION (NZ)||G||3||Bjorn Baker||11||55.5kg|
|12||17216||JADEER||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||12||55.5kg|
|15||23×176||RAGNAAR (NZ)||G||3||Lee & Anthony Freedman||15||55.5kg|
|16||6x46x33211||PALACE TYCOON||C||3||Peter G Moody||16||55.5kg|
|17||1522||COLONEL CUSTER (NZ)||C||3||Phillip Stokes||17||55.5kg|
|18||x96x021379||SCADDEN’S RUN||G||3||Frankie Stockdale||18||55.5kg|
|19||05×1100||EXTRA CHOICE (NZ)||G||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||19||55.5kg|
|20||234200||RED ALTO||G||3||Brent Stanley||20||55.5kg|
|21||02321||LAST TYPHOON||C||3||Peter G Moody||21||55.5kg|
|23||0x83174||PAY UP BRO||G||3||John Moloney||23||55.5kg|
|24||544×0541||CARDOSO||G||3||Leon & Troy Corstens||24||55.5kg|
|25||0x2851x493||FLYING GEEPEE||G||3||Robbie Griffiths||25||55.5kg|
|26||8×5150||IRON BOSS||C||3||Mark Kavanagh||26||55.5kg|
|28||9×8548||ASSERTIVE STAR||C||3||Byron Cozamanis||28||55.5kg|
|29||571||BULLISH STOCK (NZ)||G||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||29||55.5kg|
|30||3020||PRINCE OF PAGODA (NZ)||G||3||Tony McEvoy||30||55.5kg|
|31||0x782||BATTLE ZONE (NZ)||C||3||Michael Moroney||31||55.5kg|
|32||36×96||THE WEALD||C||3||John O’Shea||32||55.5kg|
|33||85||COLLER BAY||G||3||Mick Price||33||55.5kg|