A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
After an impressive gallop at Coleraine on Tuesday trainer Darren Weir is confident his Group 3 winning Kiwi import Mongolian Wolf can bounce back to his best form in Saturday’s 2017 Queensland Derby.
Weir is set to have three acceptors in the field for the $600,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m) at Doomben on the weekend after confirming Mongolian Wolf would travel to the sunshine state for the Stradbroke Handicap Day feature.
The stable’s Queensland Derby contingent is led by his SA Derby winner Volatile Mix, while Mongolian Wolf is set to join him and nicely bred stablemate Rockstar Rebel in the three-years-old staying showdown.
Pluck gelding Mongolian Wolf had his opening eight career starts in New Zealand before travelling down under to join Weir’s Warrnambool team on the back of an unplaced run behind subsequent Rosehill Guineas winner Gingernuts in the Group 1 NZ Derby (2400m) in early March.
He made an immediate impact down under posting a one and a quarter-length win over Veladero at Randwick on April 15 in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m).
Things went amiss second-up however when the horse went to Caulfield on May 13 and finished a well-beaten 11th to All Out Of Love over 2000m in a three-years-old handicap carrying 59kg.
Back to 57kg at set weights for his Queensland Derby bid, Mongolian Wolf has come on well since and Weir is confident he will be right in the mix for the Group 1 test.
“I’m happy to be taking him,” Weir told Racing Victoria on Tuesday.
“He’s had a really good 10 days and happy to be putting him on the plane and having a crack.
“I think he’ll bounce back.”
Jockey Damian Lane is booked to ride Mongolian Wolf for the first time in the Queensland Derby with the horse set to fly to Brisbane on Wednesday evening.
Weir is also hoping the change venue and distance for the race won’t be the undoing of his top fancy Volatile Mix who is out to turn the tables on Order Again after running second to the local Brisbane galloper at Eagle Farm on May 27 in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m).
The Pentire gelding trialled at the Sunshine Coast on Tuesday finishing an easy fourth over 1270m with John Allen aboard.
Rebel Raider colt Rockstar Rebel meanwhile is the longest-priced of Weir’s hopefuls in Queensland Derby betting, the galloper stepping up in grade off a 2200m Benchmark 70 win at Ballarat on May 24.
The official 2017 Queensland Derby field and barriers along with updated odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are all due for release shortly.
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