Despite an Australian Guineas loss last start the Mick Price-trained Tarzino is still on track for the Australian Derby 2016 on April 2, first acceptances for the Royal Randwick classic taken on Tuesday.
Racing NSW closed first declarations for all the feature races of Sydney’s ‘The Championships’ this week including the $2 million Group 1 BMW Australian Derby (2400m) running on Day 1.
Earlier in the season 129 nominations were taken for the three-year-olds feature, a number cut to just 47 at first acceptance stage.
Leading the ATC Australian Derby first acceptances and the early betting markets at bookmakers around the country is Price’s Tavistock colt Tarzino.
The proven stayer won Melbourne’s Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington in the Spring before a first-up fourth in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 13.
Last Saturday he ran in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) going down a nostril flare to Palentino and failing to have the result reversed after a protest by his hoop Craig Newitt was dismissed by stewards.
Price still believes Tarzino is on track for the ATC Derby and interstate Derby double, the bookmakers agreeing.
Along with the early favourite Price also paid the first acceptance fee for Man Of Choice who ran a disappointing 11th beating home just two runners in last Saturday’s Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) in Sydney.
The other best fancied of the ATC Derby first acceptances in pre-field markets at Ladbrokes.com.au is the horse that beat Tarzino home in the Australian Guineas, Palentino from the Melbourne Cup winning stables of Darren Weir.
Palentino lost the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) on protest to second-past-the-post Tivaci, but survived another protest to come away with last weekend’s Group 1 over the mile.
The Teofilo colt’s record now stands at three wins and two seconds from six starts, the Guineas his longest-distanced test to date.
While Kris Lees’ Randwick Guineas Le Romain is in the mix for the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) instead of the ATC Derby, the third placegetter out of the same race Gold Ambition is entered for the longer feature.
Prepared by Bjorn Baker, Savabeel gelding Gold Ambition was a $41 roughie in Randwick Guineas markets but caught the eye with a third beaten only one and a half lengths.
Another notable Randwick Guineas graduate high up the futures Australian Derby odds currently is the lightly raced Anthony Cummings-trained fifth placed Road To Rock gelding Montaigne.
Third to Press Statement in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) the run before, Montaigne was beaten only two and a half lengths in the Group 1 and is tipped to relish any extra distance looking further ahead this autumn.
The last filly to beat home the boys in the Australian Derby was the Danny O’Brien-trained Shamrocker (2011), the best fancied of the girls this year being Jameka.
Caulfield’s Ciaron Maher trains the daughter of Myboycharlie, winner of the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington last November, whose last start was a fifth in the Australian Guineas.
A total of five fillies feature in the Australian Derby first acceptances with Jameka joined by the John Sargent-trained Karaka Lass, her stablemate Rainbow Park, Bryce Heys’ O’Reilly’s Angel and Honesta.
Prepared by John Thompson, Monaco Consul grey Honesta was runner-up in both the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick and the Crown Oaks during the spring before a first-up sixth to the undefeated Ghisoni in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) on February 27.
Other notable Australian Derby hopes still in the mix include the Gai Waterhouse-trained Australian Guineas fourth placegetter River Wild and the in-form John O’Shea-trained Street Cry colt Tally who won the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) on Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
The complete Australian Derby 2016 first acceptances are found below, the final field and barriers out on Tuesday March 29.
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2016 Australian Derby First Acceptances
Randwick Racecourse – 02/04/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1×4||ADMIRAL JELLO||C||3||Kris Lees||56.5kg||63|
|2||74372×5122||ALFDEN||G||3||Barbara Joseph & Paul Jones||56.5kg||56|
|3||0x7522x741||ASCOT RED||G||3||John Sargent||56.5kg||48|
|4||8182170×70||AYERS ROCK||G||3||Shawn Mathrick||56.5kg||–|
|5||04711×477||BALMAIN BOY||G||3||Les Bridge||56.5kg||72|
|6||571801463||BULLISH STOCK (NZ)||G||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||56.5kg||–|
|8||5×132||COOL CHAP||G||3||Peter G Moody||56.5kg||–|
|9||2251×91||CROSLEY HOTSHOT||G||3||Bjorn Baker||56.5kg||70|
|10||1×226||DATA POINT||C||3||Michael Kent||56.5kg||66|
|12||1436532212||FLYING LIGHT||G||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||56.5kg||–|
|13||x69358x823||GOLD AMBITION (NZ)||G||3||Bjorn Baker||56.5kg||73|
|15||023||HIT THE FLOOR||C||3||James Cummings||56.5kg||–|
|16||7x6131x70||HURSLEY (NZ)||C||3||Chris Waller||56.5kg||72|
|17||2x4132x024||I’M BELUCCI||C||3||Desleigh Forster||56.5kg||–|
|18||1721620×96||JADEER||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||56.5kg||–|
|19||02321×51||LAST TYPHOON||C||3||Peter G Moody||56.5kg||–|
|20||1410||MACKINTOSH (NZ)||G||3||James Bridge||56.5kg||70|
|21||1371330×70||MAN OF CHOICE||G||3||Luke Price||56.5kg||78|
|22||43x51x6523||MANHATTAN SON||G||3||Clarry Conners||56.5kg||64|
|23||21135||MONTAIGNE (NZ)||G||3||Anthony Cummings||56.5kg||78|
|24||6x61x1||OLD NORTH||C||3||John O’Shea||56.5kg||71|
|26||210321233||RAGHU (NZ)||C||3||Tony Pike||56.5kg||–|
|27||13×41184||RIVER WILD||C||3||Gai Waterhouse||56.5kg||76|
|28||x703452x00||SCHOPENHAUER (NZ)||G||3||Craig Ritchie||56.5kg||53|
|31||17148×659||SOVEREIGN NATION||C||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||56.5kg||–|
|32||84151||SPANISH STRIDE||G||3||Amanda Turner & Mauro Poletti||56.5kg||66|
|33||7×32326220||SPLENDIDO (NZ)||G||3||Bruce Wallace||56.5kg||–|
|35||311731×42||TARZINO (NZ)||C||3||Mick Price||56.5kg||104|
|37||211306||TAVAGO (NZ)||G||3||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||56.5kg||–|
|38||x416211x88||TORGERSEN (NZ)||C||3||Chris Waller||56.5kg||77|
|39||016||TRIANTAN||C||3||John P Thompson||56.5kg||62|
|41||7x10343x81||WAR LEGEND (NZ)||G||3||Michael Moroney||56.5kg||–|
|42||1567412||WHAT’S THE STORY (NZ)||C||3||Stephen Mckee||56.5kg||–|
|43||42112222×6||HONESTA||F||3||John P Thompson||54.5kg||95|
|45||37×9||KARAKA LASS||F||3||John Sargent||54.5kg||51|
|46||77×4||O’REILLY’S ANGEL (NZ)||F||3||Bryce Heys||54.5kg||–|
|47||05×02||RAINBOW PARK (NZ)||F||3||John Sargent||54.5kg||53|