The headline of the four Group 1 races running at Flemington Racecourse today for the opening Melbourne Cup Carnival meeting is the Victoria Derby 2015 for three-year-olds, the full field of 16 starters still in the mix with only the emergency running coming out of the line-up.
Due to run as Flemington Race 7 at 3:50pm (AEST), this year’s $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) is available at Best Tote or SP + 20% only at Ladbrokes.com.au within an hour of jump this afternoon.
Leading the latest Victoria Derby odds at $3.20, out form as short as $2.40 earlier in the week, is the Mick Price-trained Tarzino.
The promising Tavistock colt is drawn in barrier 10 with Craig Newitt to ride and ran the ideal lead-up to this distance test when he crossed third, reeling off fast late sectionals behind Jameka in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) last Saturday.
Derby favourites have a poor recent record in the VRC edition however with Efficient (2006) the only one to salute in the past 10 years, and so the punters are starting to search for value further down the markets.
There are two other single-figure hopes in current Victoria Derby betting with the rails-drawn Perth raider Kia Ora Koutou ($7) racing outside of WA for the first time and the market mover Lizard Island ($8).
Adam Durrant’s Blackfriars gelding Kia Ora Koutou shoots for his fifth win from as many career starts and will go the distance in the Derby having won over 2200m without a worry back home last time out.
He is right up in class however not having seen a black-type field before and how the Perth form stacks up against the top locals is yet to be determined.
Lizard Island is drawn two outside of Kia Ora Koutou and has Blake Shinn aboard from barrier three.
Pat Hyland’s in-form Sebring colt comes off a stack of top runs including his second in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) two back and his second again on October 17 behind Crown Oaks fancy Sacred Eye in the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m).
The money has also come in for the John O’Shea-trained Shards ($19 into $12) who has last weekend’s Cox Plate winning jockey Hugh Bowman aboard from barrier 11, which last produced a Victoria Derby winner 10 years ago with Benicio (2005).
Shards comes off a second in the Moonee Valley Vase on Cox Plate Day and was the only male galloper in the Derby lead-up to beat home Tarzino.
That was a big improvement on his 13th the run before in the Caulfield Guineas and showed he was likely to appreciate covering more ground today in his next Group 1 test.
Shorter than Shards in betting at $10 for the win is Get The Picture who jumps from gate five with jockey Damien Oliver shooting for his sixth VRC Derby victory.
Oliver’s two most recent winners were Fiveandahalfstar (2012) who scored an upset at 40/1 three years ago and the Chris Waller-trained champ 12 months ago Preferment (2014) who heads towards the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) next Tuesday over the two miles.
The Stuart Webb-trained Get The Picture was runner-up in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) two back at the Valley before a fourth in the Norman Robinson a fortnight ago, a race that has produced two of the past four Victoria Derby winners.
Check out the full Victoria Derby odds below then head to Ladbrokes.com.au to lock in Best Tote or SP + 20% across the full Flemington race card today!