Class filly Royal Star is current favourite in pre-field WATC Derby 2017 betting to beat home the boys in the Group 2 at Ascot Racecourse in Perth this weekend.
Sydney may be host to the weekend’s best racing with Winx running in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick, but Perth racing fans are also treated to an autumn feature with the $400,000 Group 2 W.A.T.C. Derby (2400m) taking place on Saturday.
Of the current three-year-olds entered for the mile and a half classic, favourite in futures WATC Derby betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is the Grant & Alana Williams-trained Royal Star ($3.50).
The daughter of Redoute’s Choice put the writing on the wall winning the Listed Natasha Stakes (2200m) two back before her close second as the beaten odds-on favourite in the Group 3 W.A. Oaks (2400m) last Saturday.
She is tipped to bounce back and atone for the luckless second placing with a quick back-up into the WATC Derby field taking on the colts and geldings.
The fillies have a good recent record in the WATC Derby results winning the past two editions with Arcadia Dream (2016) and Delicacy (2015) – both also prepared by Grant Williams who chases a third on the trot with Royal Star this weekend.
The form line of Arcadia Dream from last Perth Autumn Racing Carnival is the same one Royal Star brings into the race this weekend, a Natasha Stakes win and WA Oaks second.
Second favourite in the all-in WATC Derby odds online this autumn at $4 is the WA Oaks winner Very Tempting, also prepared by Team Williams, after her upset win over her better fancied stablemate last Saturday.
Another daughter of Redoute’s Choice, Very Tempting improved on her third in the Natasha Stakes to turn the tables in the WA Oaks getting out over more distance thanks to a gun run from barrier one with Chris Parnham in the saddle.
Delicacy (2015) was the last filly to complete the WA Oaks – WATC Derby double, also going onto Adelaide to win the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) and Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) in her two subsequent runs.
It is a tight top half of the WATC Derby markets this season with Gatting ($5) and Final Salute ($6) also being kept safe in betting ahead of final acceptances.
The best fancied of the boys, the Darren McAuliffe-trained Hard Spun gelding Gatting was last seen winning the Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m) on March 25 ahead of his first 2400m in the Derby.
Final Salute was second past the post in that WATC Derby lead-up beaten only a neck, the Williams-trained son of Not A Single Doubt having won the Listed J.C. Robert Stakes (1800m) prior to that.
The WATC Derby 2017 final acceptances close on Wednesday morning so now is the time to back your early favourites at Ladbrokes.com.au before odds firm with the field release.