Adam Durrant’s consistent three-year-old Kia Ora Kouta is the big winner for Saturday’s WATC Derby 2016 at Ascot Racecourse drawing barrier one in the 12-horse field.
A dozen young stayers make up the final field for this year’s $400,000 Group 2 W.A.T.C. Derby (2400m), including Blackfriars gelding Kia Ora Koutou chasing his fifth win from nine starts.
Proven up to 2200m, the galloper is best known for his trip to Melbourne last spring when third behind Tarzino in Flemington’s Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) and he is up over a similar distance for the first time since on Saturday.
Two back he was third to Heart Starter in the Listed J.C. Roberts Stakes (1800m) and then last start on April 2 he was second past the post in the Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m).
His regular rider Joesph Azzopardi retains the ride this weekend, Kia Ora Koutou the sole Durrant-trained hopeful in the Group 2 clash.
Melivsta Stakes winner Who Dat Singa also backs-up in Saturday’s rematch, the Alan Mathews-trained son of Iffraaj drawn the opposite end of the field out in barrier 11 for his hoop Patrick Carbery.
Carbery has ridden the five-time winner for all ten of his career starts to date, including the JC Roberts second and one and three-quarter length Melvista win a fortnight back.
Also coming off a top three run in that traditional WATC Derby lead-up is the third placed Cappo D’Oro for veteran WA trainer Fred Kersley.
This weekend the nicely-bred Medaglia D’Oro gelding jumps from barrier six with Steven Parnham retaining the ride, the horse after his first win from six Ascot starts.
Cappo D’Oro only saw black-type company for the first time in the Melvista Stakes, but he has winning form up to 2300m at Pinjarra from late February this season.
Kersley has also accepted for Musket filly Culverin who comes off a string of good autumn runs including her third to First Impressions in the Group 3 WA Oaks (2400m) at this track and distance at the start of the month.
Last year Delicacy (2015) took out the WA Oaks – WATC Derby double before also going on to salute in two Group 1 wins with success in Adelaide’s Australasian Oaks and SA Derby.
This year’s WA Oaks winner First Impressions is also looking for her local Oaks – Derby victory with another win on the weekend, Glenn Smith staying on the Grant Williams-trained daughter of Rip Van Winkle.
Williams also prepared the WA Oaks third placegetter this year in Arcadia Dream who is out to turn the tables on her stablemate this Saturday.
The Domesday filly won the Listed Natasha Stakes (2200m) by over two lengths leading up to her Oaks second, which was her first look at the mile and a half, where she went down as the beaten odds-on favourite.
Last year’s WATC Derby winning jockey William Pike continues his association with Arcadia Dream shooting for back-to-back wins in the Group 2 classic on a filly out to atone for her surprise last start defeat.
Williams’ third Derby hope this year is Heart Starter, the Domesday gelding having won back-to-back Listed races at Ascot in March taking out the Lex Piper – JC Roberts double before his Melvista Stakes fourth.
The last of the fillies taking on the boys in the Derby this season meanwhile is Spirit Bird, Nick Cox’s daughter of Savabeel having run fifth in both the Natasha Stakes and WA Oaks.
See below for the full WATC Derby 2016 field and barrier draw, betting on the race to open shortly at Ladbrokes.com.au!
2016 WATC Derby Final Field & Barrier Draw
Ascot Racecourse – 16/04/2016
|1||KIA ORA KOUTOU||ADAM DURRANT||JOSEPH AZZOPARDI||1||56.5kg|
|2||WHO DAT SINGA||ALAN MATHEWS||PATRICK CARBERY||11||56.5kg|
|3||HEART STARTER||GRANT WILLIAMS||JARRAD NOSKE||7||56.5kg|
|4||PUSHIN’ SHAPES||DANIEL PEARCE||JASON WHITING||2||56.5kg|
|5||BIG RED COSTA||WALLY MITCHELL||AARON MITCHELL||5||56.5kg|
|6||CAPPO D’ORO||FRED KERSLEY||STEVEN PARNHAM||6||56.5kg|
|7||GAUGED||STEVE WOLFE||TROY TURNER||3||56.5kg|
|8||LOLONG||DANIEL MORTON||JASON BROWN||12||56.5kg|
|9||ARCADIA DREAM||GRANT WILLIAMS||WILLIAM PIKE||10||54.5kg|
|10||SPIRIT BIRD||NICK COX||JORDAN MALLYON||8||54.5kg|
|11||FIRST IMPRESSIONS||GRANT WILLIAMS||GLENN SMITH||4||54.5kg|
|12||CULVERIN||FRED KERSLEY||SHAUN MC GRUDDY||9||54.5kg|