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Two of the past three ATC Derby winners hailed from New Zealand and this weekend another raider from the land of the long white cloud will attempt to add his name to the list with What’s The Story to debut down under.
A below capacity field of 13 three-year-old staying types will line-up in Saturday’s $2 million Group 1 BMW Australian Derby (2400m), which runs as Randwick Race 7 at 3:50pm (AEDT) on Day 1 of Sydney’s ‘The Championships’.
Three of those hopefuls this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival hail from New Zealand and are out to join Murray Baker’s two winners It’s A Dundeel (2013) and Mongolian Khan (2015) as Kiwi visitors to win the mile and a half classic.
Bruce Wallace saddles-up Oh So Splendido ($201) on the back of a Rosehill Guineas eighth, Tavistock gelding Tavago ($51) represents Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young and What’s The Story is prepared at Takanini by Stephen McKee.
A nicely-bred Savabeel colt, What’s The Story is the shortest priced of the New Zealand gallopers in ATC Derby betting through Ladbrokes.com.au at $15 for the win.
The markets are firmly led by Mick Price’s last star Rosehill Guineas winner Tarzino ($2) in barrier six who won the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) over a similar distance in Melbourne during the spring.
What’s The Story meanwhile is also drawn ideally in gate four for his hoop Blake Shinn, Shinn shooting for his maiden Australian Derby winning ride.
Barrier four hasn’t produced an Australian Derby champion however since Bonecrusher and Myocard went back-to-back from the gate back in 1986 and 1987.
A winner of two of his seven starts to date, including success over 2100m in February, What’s The Story was last seen running a brave second when beaten just a short half-head in the Group 1 NZ Derby (2400m) on March 5.
With a month between runs he is set for a second shot over the distance looking for frank the three-years-old form coming out of New Zealand again this season the way last year’s NZ Derby winner Mongolian Khan did.
Mongolian Khan, who also won the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in Melbourne last spring, had a lead-up run in Australia however when fifth to yet another New Zealander Volkstok’n’barrell in the Rosehill Guineas.
What’s The Story’s Derby run was hampered after he got checked near the 1800m, so with a clearer run he looks a big hope on the weekend despite being one of the more inexperienced runners not having had a two-year-old season on the track.
Tuesday morning saw What’s The Story have his final serious piece of work at home, pleasing McKee ahead of his trip to Australia on Wednesday night.
“What’s the Story’s work this morning was great and we couldn’t be happier with him,” McKee said according to Racenet.
“He’ll fly over to Sydney tomorrow night.
“You never know how they’re going to measure up until you try.
“We’ve got a pretty in-form jockey in Blake Shinn, and we’re hoping for the best.”
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