Just thirty-seven three-year-old stayers remain in contention for Saturday week’s 2016 Victoria Derby after Racing Victoria (RV) took first acceptances for the Melbourne Cup Carnival classic.
Down from 106 nominations back in late September, the first declarations for the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) are full of young talent.
One of four elite levels on the Derby Day card running on Saturday October 29 as the first of four Melbourne Cup Carnival meetings, the set weights race has a capacity field of only 16 starters.
Currently heading the Victoria Derby ballot order post-first acceptances is the James Cummings-trained Group 1 winner Prized Icon.
He won the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) in Sydney during the autumn, and was last seen running under a length away third to 2016 Cox Plate hopeful Yankee Rose in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
Prized Icon is as yet untested in Melbourne, but is nominated for a Cox Plate Day run this weekend in the $200,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m).
The Vase has produced plenty of recent VRC Derby winners including Tarzino (3rd in 2015) just last season.
Last weekend’s $500,000 Group 3 Ladbrokes Classic (2000m) winner on Caulfield Cup Day Good Standing is another Cummings-trained Derby fancy this year.
The Artie Schiller colt saluted for the punters in the clash defeating Rocketeer (2nd) and Inference (3rd).
The Ladbrokes Classic placegetters are currently high-up the pre-field Victoria Derby odds at bookmakers around the country, tipped to improve over more meters.
Rocketeer is prepared by Mick Price who won the VRC Derby 12 months ago with the aforementioned Tarzino (2015).
The Smart Missile gelding is a perennial placegetter having run second in his four latest runs on the trot, which he’ll be out to go one better than in the classic run on the Saturday before the Melbourne Cup.
Inference is a son of So You Think who is on the up-and-up for Team Hawkes having run fourth in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley before the third to Good Standing.
Co-trainer John Hawkes prepared the 1998 Victoria Derby winner Arena and along with Inference, also prepares Swear for a bid this year in partnership with his sons Wayne and Michael.
Swear is a Redoute’s Choice colt who comes off the Spring Champion Stakes second to Yankee Rose.
As well as the Ladbrokes Classic trifecta, the fourth and fifth over the line in the race registered as the Norman Robinson Stakes are also still entered for the Victoria Derby with the Ciaron Maher-trained roughie Beach Life (4th) and the Chris Waller-trained Wine Bush (5th).
Sydney’s best Waller won the Victoria Derby two years ago with Preferment (2014) who came off a second in the Listed Geelong Classic, that lead-up taking place this Wednesday on Geelong Cup Day.
Along with his recent UCI Stakes winner Wine Bush, Waller also still has Gloaming Stakes winner Veladero and Fastnet Rock colt Tumultuous among the VRC Derby first acceptances.
Notable omissions from the possible runners in this year’s VRC Derby field include Stutt Stakes winner and Caulfield Guineas third placegetter Hey Doc and the Guineas winner Divine Prophet who is being spelled ahead of the autumn.
The 2016 Victoria Derby final field and barriers are out on October 26 at 9:30am (AEDT) so stay tuned.
In the meantime check out the updated all-in markets open now at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $700 first time depositor’s bonus match bet offer (excluding NSW) with use of the code SPRINGBONUS!
2016 VRC Derby First Acceptances
Flemington Racecourse – 29/10/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight|
|1||23211×4633||PRIZED ICON||C||3||James Cummings||1||55.5kg|
|2||216x161x18||SACRED ELIXIR (NZ)||G||3||Tony Pike||2||55.5kg|
|3||x105x95371||GOOD STANDING||C||3||James Cummings||3||55.5kg|
|4||1216×4542||SEABURGE||C||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||4||55.5kg|
|5||1×162||SWEAR||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||5||55.5kg|
|9||73×37515||WINE BUSH||C||3||Chris Waller||9||55.5kg|
|11||21×1143||INFERENCE||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||11||55.5kg|
|12||3×6115||HARLOW GOLD (NZ)||F||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||12||53.5kg|
|14||1139||HIGHLAD||C||3||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||14||55.5kg|
|16||26×165||SO SI BON||C||3||Robbie Laing||16||55.5kg|
|18||26×6194||BEACH LIFE||G||3||Ciaron Maher||18||55.5kg|
|19||6135902||BACK TO THE BOWLER||G||3||Stuart Webb||19||55.5kg|
|22||7415×960||CAPTAIN DUFFY||C||3||Phillip Stokes||22||55.5kg|
|23||7103×98||ALL OUT OF LOVE||C||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||23||55.5kg|
|27||1×544||PETER JOHN (NZ)||G||3||John Sargent||27||55.5kg|
|28||310||MR ALOOF||G||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||28||55.5kg|
|29||8×53533||HOLLYWOOD MO||C||3||Paul Perry||29||55.5kg|
|31||3232||ANAHEIM||C||3||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||31||55.5kg|
|32||23455||STATELY BOY||G||3||Shea Eden||32||55.5kg|
|33||235||PABLO’S EXPRESS||G||3||Greg Eurell||33||55.5kg|
|36||7×44||NORTHERN CAPTAIN||G||3||Mick Price||36||55.5kg|
|37||0954||SHINE TAK STAR||G||3||John Sargent||37||55.5kg|