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A full field of three-year-old stayers will face off at Flemington Racecourse in the Victoria Derby 2016 this Saturday with final acceptances taken on Wednesday.
Due to run as Flemington Race 7 at 3:50pm (AEDT), this year’s $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) has attracted a capacity 16 starters plus four emergencies awaiting a scratching to make the field.
The Victoria Derby field has run at capacity for the past six years, with a 10-horse line-up in 2009 when Monaco Consul won in the wet the last time less than 16 starters took to the track in the lucrative three-years-old classic.
2016 Victoria Derby barriers are set to be released shortly, with the inside alley providing five winners since 1983 making it the most successful in recent history.
Favourite in this season’s Victoria Derby betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au is the Tony Pike-trained New Zealander Sacred Elixir.
Jockey Zac Purton takes over for Damian Lane in the saddle of the Pour Moi gelding who chases the Moonee Valley Vase – VRC Derby double last completed by Efficient (2006).
Since then the Vase has produced a further three Victoria Derby champions including the recently retired Tarzino (3rd in 2015) last year.
Sacred Elixir beat home his rivals in the 2040m Cox Plate Day Group 2 clash just last Saturday so is on the quick back-up aiming for a second elite level title after taking out the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) in Brisbane during the winter.
Kiwi youngsters also have a good recent record in the Derby with the recent success of Lion Tamer (2010) and Sangster (2011).
The gallopers that finish second and third respectively in the Moonee Valley Vase last Saturday, Morvada and So Si Bon, are also in the mix for Saturday’s rematch.
Peter Jolly’s Mossman gelding Morvada has run top three in his six latest runs, only running outside of Adelaide for the first time when a half-length second in the Vase as a $41 roughie in betting.
So Si Bon is prepared by Robbie Laing, the So You Think colt chasing his first stakes’ win with a Derby upset.
Boosting his chances is the booking of Hugh Bowman for the ride, Bowman having ridden three previous Victoria Derby winners in the past six years most recently aboard Polanski (2013).
In the past 10 years three Victoria Derby winners came off a last-start victory and along with Sacred Elixir the only other confirmed starter shooting for successive wins is the Phillip Stokes-trained Captain Duffy.
The King Cugat colt won the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) in an upset from barrier 16 of 16 on October 19, a race that produced the Victoria Derby winner Preferment (2nd in 2014) two years ago.
Outside of the Vase the other key lead-up race into the VRC Derby in recent years is the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield.
The Norman Robinson – VRC Derby double was last achieved by Polanksi (2013) and while this year’s winner of the first leg Good Standing is a notable non-acceptor for the Group 1, the runner-up Rocketeer and third placed Inference are both in the mix.
Last year’s Victoria Derby winning trainer Mick Price saddles-up Smart Missile gelding Rocketeer who has run second in his four latest starts, Mark Zahra coming aboard for the ride on Saturday.
Inference is prepared by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes and has won three of his four starts, the son of So You Think one of the best in Victoria Derby betting this Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Team Hawkes have also accepted for Swear in the Victoria Derby field this year, Tommy Berry retaining the ride on the Redoute’s Choice colt who comes off a Sydney second behind subsequent Cox Plate third placed filly Yankee Rose in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
See below for the full Victoria Derby 2016 field, barriers and odds from Ladbrokes.com.au set for release shortly.
2016 Victoria Derby Final Field of Acceptances
Flemington Race 7 (3:50pm) – 29/10/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||16x161x181||SACRED ELIXIR (NZ)||Tony Pike||Zac Purton||0||55.5kg||99|
|2||3211×46335||PRIZED ICON||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||0||55.5kg||95|
|3||1×162||SWEAR||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||0||55.5kg||90|
|4||6×512222||ROCKETEER||Mick Price||Mark Zahra||0||55.5kg||74|
|5||x7431x2232||MORVADA||Peter Jolly||Steven Arnold||0||55.5kg||78|
|6||21×1143||INFERENCE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||0||55.5kg||72|
|7||7415×9601||CAPTAIN DUFFY||Phillip Stokes||TBA||0||55.5kg||72|
|8||1127||SILVERA||Tony McEvoy||Kerrin McEvoy||0||55.5kg||73|
|9||73×37515||WINE BUSH||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||0||55.5kg||72|
|10||26×1653||SO SI BON||Robbie Laing||Hugh Bowman||0||55.5kg||75|
|11||2x21x6258||KENT||John O’Shea||James McDonald||0||55.5kg||68|
|12||1139||HIGHLAD||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Craig Williams||0||55.5kg||73|
|13||26×6194||BEACH LIFE||Ciaron Maher||Nicholas Hall||0||55.5kg||65|
|14||51546564||TUMULTUOUS||Chris Waller||Ben Melham||0||55.5kg||65|
|15||8×535332||HOLLYWOOD MO||Paul Perry||Stephen Baster||0||55.5kg||67|
|16||7103×985||ALL OUT OF LOVE||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Blake Shinn||0||55.5kg||63|
|17e||1×5441||PETER JOHN (NZ)||John Sargent||Michael Walker||0||55.5kg||65|
|18e||32321||ANAHEIM||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||TBA||0||55.5kg||61|
|19e||09541||SHINE TAK STAR||John Sargent||TBA||0||55.5kg||61|
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