Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
The feature race at Ascot Racecourse this weekend in Perth is the lucrative WATC Derby 2016 for the three-year-olds, betting tips and selections for the staying clash detailed below.
Due to run as Ascot Race 7 as the penultimate event on the card, this season’s $400,000 Group 2 Schweppes W.A.T.C. Derby (2400m) features a final field of 12 hopefuls.
Firm favourite in WATC Derby betting at Ladbrokes.com.au this Perth Autumn Racing Carnival at $2.10 for the win is the rails-drawn, Adam Durrant-trained Group 1 placegetter Kia Ora Koutou.
Durrant is hoping to progress onto the SA Derby and or the Queensland Derby with the smart Blackfriars gelding who ran third in Melbourne’s Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the spring.
He comes into Saturday’s race on the back of a second in the Listed Melivsta Stakes (2200m) at the Ascot track and will only improve off that getting back out over a mile and a half.
The other best fancied in the WATC Derby odds this weekend are the Melvista Stakes winner Who Dat Singa ($4) and WA Oaks runner-up Arcadia Dream ($6.50) for last year’s winning trainer Grant Williams.
So can Kia Ora Koutou turn the tables on his last start conqueror and take out the WATC Derby for the punters or is there value further down the markets from the likes of consistent Domesday gelding Heart Starter ($7.50) or the WA Oaks winner First Impressions ($8) after the double achieved by Delicacy 12 months ago?
#1 Kia Ora Koutou ($2.10)
The form on the favourite is really hard to knock and he’s set to peak fourth-up off the perfect lead-up stepping out over the distance. He’s been tested in tougher company when third in the VRC Derby over 2500m, the extra metres here will suit, Joseph Azzopardi knows the galloper well and will get things his way from the inside barrier.
#11 First Impressions ($8)
The WA Oaks form held-up in the Derby last year, but whether that’s the experience over the track and distance or just the brilliance of last year’s winning filly Delicacy is the question. First Impressions gets the chance to frank the Oaks form again 12 months on and also represents last year’s winning trainer Williams. She’s on the improve and had nearly two lengths to spare on the beaten favourite last start as a $19 roughie. She’s good odds again.
#2 Who Dat Singa ($4)
Back to the boys, the Alan Mathews-trained son of Iffraaj has been super consistent in the traditional Derby lead-ups this prep. He was second in the Lex Piper and JC Roberts over 1600m and 1800m respectively in March before the Melvista Stakes win where he had one a three-quarters of a length to spare over Saturday’s favourite. Can he hold him out again getting out over 2400m?
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