Thirteen three-year-old stayers have been confirmed to chase Group 1 success on Day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick following the completion and release of the 2017 Australian Derby field.
Two New Zealand raiders have more than stamped themselves as horses to watch upon debuting to the Sydney way of going this season, and both Gingernuts and Jon Snow have been confirmed in the 2017 Australian Derby field.
Gingernuts took a couple of runs to find form upon resuming in his homeland this time in, but the three-year-old was clearly finding peak conditions when he delivered a smart field a resounding three-length defeat in the Nicholson Autumns BM65 (1600m) on January 30th.
Making a successful transition to black type company when a comfortable winner of the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) on February 18th, the Iffraaj gelding confirmed passage to Australia when he mustered a keen turn of foot in the final straight at Ellerslie to win the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) on March 4th.
Having comfortably won the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) upon arriving in Australia a fortnight ago, Gingernuts should only improve upon stepping up to a mile and a half into the Australian Derby field.
Jon Snow has been a strong and consistent performer for Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman this time in and finished third in each of the Group 2 Great Northern Guineas (1600m), Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m), Listed Karaka 3YO Mile (1600m) and the New Zealand Derby.
Having appeared in Australia for a smart win in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) last weekend, the son of Iffraaj is another horse that will appreciate a step up in distance on Saturday.
Multiple Group 1 winner Prized Icon and in-form runner Inference undoubtedly headline the local contingent of three-year-olds confirmed in the 2017 Australian Derby field.
Prized Icon was a strong and consistent performer for James Cummings through last year’s Autumn Carnival and ended his season a comfortable winner of the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m).
Taking a few runs to find his feet upon resuming in spring, the More Than Ready colt ran third in each of the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) and Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and while luckless when fifth in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m), responded with a dominant performance to win the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) by close to three lengths on October 29th.
Prized Icon returned to racing for sixth in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) and finished a close second in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), but the horse failed to produce much when he finished tenth in the Rosehill Guineas.
Prized Icon responded well to finish second in the Tulloch Stakes last weekend and will enjoy a return to 2400m on Saturday.
Inference has been set for an appearance in the Australian Derby field, but has posted a number of strong results on his way towards the feature race.
Stamping himself as a colt to follow through the recent Spring Carnival, Inference was unable to break through for a black type win, but finished third in each of the Group 3 Ladbrokes Classic (2000m) and the Victoria Derby.
Resuming this time for fifth in the Hobartville Stakes, the son of So You Think stormed home to win the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) before finishing second in the Rosehill Guineas last time out.
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2017 Australian Derby Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||63351×6202||PRIZED ICON||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||6||56.5kg||107|
|2||21×401111||GINGERNUTS (NZ)||Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards||Opie Bosson||12||56.5kg||106|
|3||x11433x512||INFERENCE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||4||56.5kg||100|
|4||x289333731||JON SNOW (NZ)||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Damian Lane||9||56.5kg||90|
|5||165344×403||SO SI BON||Robbie Laing||Kerrin McEvoy||7||56.5kg||86|
|6||1x3670x671||HARDHAM||David Brideoake||Luke Nolen||5||56.5kg||66|
|7||323211×354||ANAHEIM||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Hugh Bowman||1||56.5kg||80|
|8||112×522||RUTHVEN||Ciaron Maher||Mark Zahra||8||56.5kg||75|
|9||26×3121265||HARPER’S CHOICE||Gerald Ryan||Jason Collett||10||56.5kg||74|
|10||53226×5576||HOLLYWOOD MO||Paul Perry||Zac Purton||3||56.5kg||67|
|11||17346||IMPAVIDO||Bjorn Baker||Joao Moreira||11||56.5kg||74|
|12||312×758||RIGHTEOUS MATE (NZ)||Mark Newnham||Tye Angland||2||56.5kg||68|
|13||95416×5062||SHINE TAK STAR||John Sargent||Brenton Avdulla||13||56.5kg||59|