Adam Durrant’s Group 1 placed gelding Kia Ora Koutou has opened clear favourite in WATC Derby 2016 betting to return to the winners’ stall for the first time this year at Perth’s Ascot Racecourse on Saturday.
Third to Tarzino in last November’s Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington, the classy Blackfriars three-year-old has had three runs this time in.
Drawn the rails with barrier one and regular rider Joseph Azzopardi continuing his association, Kia Ora Kouta comes off a second to fellow WATC Derby hopeful Who Dat Singa in the Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m).
The extra metres in the weekend’s rematch are set to suit and Kia Ora Koutou is racing for another elite level aim in either the 2016 Queensland Derby in Brisbane during the winter or even next month’s $500,000 Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) in Adelaide.
In a relatively open market there are four other single figure chances in the latest WATC Derby odds including the $4 second elect, the aforementioned Who Dat Singa.
Alan Mathews’ Iffraaj gelding is drawn the opposite end of the field to the favourite and will start from gate 11 with Patrick Carbery booked for the ride again.
Who Dat Singa was runner-up in back-to-back Ascot black-types in March before his win in the Melvista Stakes by one and three-quarter lengths, form he’s out to continue again over the mile and a half in the Derby.
The next best in betting is Arcadia Dream ($6.50), the Grant Williams-trained Domesday filly looking to go back-to-back for the girls in the staying showdown after the success of her stablemate Delicacy (2015) in the race 12 months ago.
Delicacy completed the WA Oaks – Derby double before doing the same in Adelaide in Group 1 company the next month, and Arcadia Dream is also a WA Oaks graduate this season.
She won the Listed Natasha Stakes (2200m) two back before her second in the WA Oaks over the same track and distance as Saturday’s assignment where she and the state’s best jockey William Pike will jump from barrier 10 of 12.
Rounding out the hopes under $10 for the WATC Derby win this Perth Autumn Racing Carnival are Williams’ other two runners Heart Starter ($7) and First Impressions ($8) drawn in barriers seven and four respectively.
Jarrad Noske rides the consistent Heart Starter who won three on the trot including the Listed JC Roberts Stakes (1800m) over Who Dat Singa (2nd) and Kia Ora Koutou (3rd) before his fourth in the Melvista Stakes last time out.
First Impressions is the other best fancied filly in the mix, the daughter of Rip Van Winkle coming off the smart one and three-quarter length WA Oaks win from April 2.
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