Ace High Heads 2018 Australian Derby First Acceptances

March 14, 2018

Ace High Heads 2018 Australian Derby First Acceptances

David Payne’s VRC Derby winner from the spring Ace High remains in the mix to chase a rare interstate Derby double leading the official Australian Derby 2018 first acceptances for this April.

Ace High

The Victoria Derby winner Ace High is the standout 2018 ATC Derby first acceptor for the Royal Randwick feature this April in Sydney. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

High Chaparral colt Ace High enjoyed successive elite level wins at the end of last preparation with a Randwick victory in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) before the Flemington Melbourne Cup Carnival success in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m).

Now the proven young stayer heads towards a shot at the Group 1 $2 million Harrolds Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick Racecourse on April 7 as part of Day 1 of ‘The Championships’.

The Australian Derby first acceptances closed on Tuesday attracting 67 three-year-olds with Ace High favourite in pre-field betting on the autumn classic at

Ace High has had three runs this time in, improving each time out, including his last start fourth in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) behind 2018 Doncaster Mile-bound Kementari.

Should Ace High go on to win the ATC Derby next month, he will be the first Victoria Derby – Australian Derby double winner since Mahogany (1993 & 1994).

The other best out of last year’s VRC Derby still in the mix for the ATC Derby in 2018 following first acceptances is the third placed Astoria.

Prepared by James Cummings for the powerhouse Godolphin stable, the Medaglia D’Oro colt has not finished out of the money in his four latest runs going back to last October.

This autumn Astoria has had two Caulfield runs when third in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) and second in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) and improvement is expected again as he gets out over further distance heading towards the Derby.

Sydney’s top trainer Chris Waller has enjoyed plenty of success over ‘The Championships’ races but chases his first Australian Derby win in 2018 with seven first acceptors.

Heading the Waller contingent is So You Think colt D’Argento, the grey third in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) first-up in February before his forgivable seventh in the Randwick Guineas.

Also in the mix for Waller are the likes of Spring Champion Stakes runner-up Tangled and Savabeel colt Kaonic.

New Zealand-trained three-year-olds have a dominant recent record in the ATC Derby results including a trio of wins for trainer Murray Baker in the past five years.

Baker prepared It’s A Dundeel (2013) and Mongolian Khan (2015) for their victories before partnering with Andrew Forsman to salute again last year with Jon Snow (2017).

There are five Australian Derby first acceptances for Baker & Forsman this year led by their NZ Derby winner over the distance from March 3 Vin De Dance.

The other standout Kiwi raider heading towards the race is the Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards-trained Age Of Fire, a Group 1 winner back home whose Australian debut produced an unplaced Randwick Guineas run last weekend.

Since Research in 1989 the only filly to win the Australian Derby was Shamrocker (2011) and this year there are four fillies still in the mix.

Kris Lees’ untapped Chilly Cha Cha, the John Sargent-trained Wakeful Stakes winner Luvaluva, VRC Oaks runner-up Bring Me Roses and the third placegetter from that spring classic Hiyaam for Mick Price are the fillies among the Australian Derby first acceptances.

Check out the full Australian Derby 2018 first declarations below before the final field is announced on April 3, updated odds available at

2018 Australian Derby First Acceptances

Royal Randwick – 07/04/2018

# Form (Last 10) Horse Sex Age Trainer Hcp. Rating
1 155111×554 ACE HIGH C 3 David Payne 107
2 21321130 AGE OF FIRE C 3 Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards 100
3 44138×051 AMEROCK C 3 Darren Weir
4 x4213145x5 ANIMALIA G 3 James Cummings
5 x315533x32 ASTORIA C 3 James Cummings
6 8x73217x4 AUGUSTUS C 3 Chris Waller 65
7 9×144 BABY BACK SHAK (NZ) G 3 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 62
8 494021×089 BASANITE C 3 Robbie Laing
9 1124 BELFAST C 3 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
10 432102×23 BRING ME ROSES F 3 Tony McEvoy 92
11 67x341x736 BULLET SHOT C 3 Peter & Paul Snowden 62
12 42251×6009 CAPITAL GAIN G 3 Paul Butterworth 88
13 8x211x41 CHILLY CHA CHA (NZ) F 3 Kris Lees 62
14 2227×221 CIRCOMO G 3 Anthony Freedman
15 4331411317 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE (NZ) C 3 Darren Weir
16 812126×127 CLIFF’S EDGE C 3 Darren Weir 98
17 3235×2128 CONDOR C 3 Paul Perry 67
18 671 CREEDENCE G 3 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
19 11×137 D’ARGENTO C 3 Chris Waller 88
20 ENDOWMENT (NZ) G 3 Donna Logan & Chris Gibbs
21 49x44x127 EXCELSIOR C 3 Gwenda Markwell 61
22 1513 FOLLOW ON G 3 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott 66
23 1111 FURORE (NZ) G 3 Kris Lees 67
24 1351 GODUNOV C 3 Gerald Ryan 62
25 GUNDOWN C 3 Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
26 40x2x HEIR TO THE THRONE (NZ) G 3 Henry Dwyer
27 231 HIGH ENERGY G 3 Darren Weir
28 5x12343x HIYAAM (NZ) F 3 Mick Price 85
29 6425x2170x ICON OF DUBAI C 3 Peter & Paul Snowden
30 311×626 KAONIC (NZ) C 3 Chris Waller 72
31 4×717 LET’S GO CHAMP G 3 Michael Costa
32 1x1661x50 LEVENDI C 3 Peter Gelagotis
33 2×5 LIVE AND FREE (NZ) G 3 John O’Shea
34 22 LOVE WAVES (NZ) G 3 Anthony & Edward Cummings
35 1776214×6 LUVALUVA (NZ) F 3 John Sargent 83
36 x212135x40 MAIN STAGE (NZ) G 3 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young 75
37 211×1156 MISSION HILL G 3 Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman 79
38 374211 MONGOLIAN MARSHAL (NZ) G 3 Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
39 MONGOLIANCONQUEROR (NZ) G 3 Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards
40 3x9152x336 MURAAQEB C 3 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 76
41 4×42425 NERUDA G 3 Kristen Buchanan
42 582 NORTH AFRIKA G 3 Peter & Paul Snowden
43 4x1225x271 OUR MANTRA G 3 Joseph Pride 70
44 312×1720 PEACEFUL STATE C 3 Darren Weir 77
45 67 PHARISEE G 3 Anthony & Edward Cummings
46 751644×049 PISSARO C 3 Robbie Laing
47 23×22 PRIMITIVO G 3 John P Thompson 66
48 1 REMARKABLE SON (NZ) G 3 David Vandyke
49 422165×9 RUNAWAY R 3 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott 67
50 12x2273x29 SALSAMOR (NZ) C 3 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
51 1x322487x8 SANCTIONED G 3 James Cummings 76
52 22 SINGA GLORY (NZ) G 3 Anthony & Edward Cummings 58
53 0x474 SO STRONG (NZ) G 3 John O’Shea
54 31×512 SO YOU WIN G 3 Chris Waller 71
55 1 SONDELON G 3 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
56 0x94220x60 TANGLED C 3 Chris Waller 90
57 74×120 TANGMERE (NZ) C 3 Chris Waller 68
58 85×6144332 TERWILLIKER G 3 Anthony & Edward Cummings 61
59 14164 THE MAYOR (NZ) G 3 Chris Waller
60 121×342 TURNBERRY C 3 Kris Lees 63
61 12235×4631 VIN DE DANCE (NZ) G 3 Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
62 22x24718x5 WEATHER WITH YOU G 3 Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman 73
63 725×362 WHOOMPH C 3 Leon & Troy Corstens
64 3267×9 WOLFE TONE (NZ) C 3 Francis Finnegan
65 07×102 WON WON TOO (NZ) G 3 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
66 9×97345131 YURALLA BOY G 3 Todd Howlett 53
67 87x ZU MANTUA C 3 Kristen Buchanan

Racing fields and data are copyright 2011-2018 © Racing Australia Pty Ltd (RA) (and other parties working with it).
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.

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