A capacity field of Stradbroke Handicap hopefuls...
Queensland Oaks winner Youngstar’s Winter Racing Carnival luck has taken a turn for the worst after drawing the outside barrier in the Group 1 $600,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Youngstar is one of six Chris Waller trained three year olds among the acceptances for the Queensland Derby that is made up of a final field of sixteen plus five emergencies and came up with the outside gate, barrier twenty-one.
Youngstar is the winner of her last four starts, her latest victory being the Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Brisbane Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben on May 26.
Youngstar will be the widest runner at start time when the field is reduced to the final sixteen and Kerrin McEvoy will be looking for all the favours in the run down the straight the first time while the remainder of the Waller runners have drawn all across the field, including second emergency Ombudsman who drew barrier sixteen.
Tangled received the best barrier of the Waller runners at gate five with Michael Walker to ride while the stable’s other runners drew around the middle of the pack with Augustus drawing nine with Brenton Avdulla, Almighty Crown barrier eleven with Ben Melham and Merovee, barrier fifteen for Blake Shinn.
The Darren Weir trained Queensland Derby contenders had mixed luck at the barrier draw with Heavenly Thought (Brad Rawiller) drawing the rails while Lucky For All (Damian Lane) drew gate nineteen.
Weir has given his nod to Heavenly Thought who is the winner of his last two starts, the latest being in the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes over the same course and distance as the Queensland Derby.
“I think to my eye Heavenly Thought has really thrived since he’s been there, he’s just in really good order, we’ve been able to get quite a bit of work into him as well, which will bring him on,” Weir told racing.com.
“He’s the one I’d be leaning towards.”
“Heavenly Thought’s going great, I watched him work at the Gold Coast on Saturday morning, he worked very well.”
“To me he’s in really good shape, and he’s had the advantage of a run up there.”
One time Queensland Derby favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au Dark Dream still has plenty of admirers even though he was beaten into third place as favourite behind Heavenly Thought in the Grand Prix Stakes and Tim Clark will be able to give him a nice run in behind the speed after drawing barrier six.
The John O’Shea trained Live And Free (James McDonald) has drawn barrier twelve in the original draw and could come in four places if all the emergencies fail to gain a start.
Live And Free holds a narrow margin at the top of the Queensland Derby market order at $4.80 with Ladbrokes.com.au, just ahead of Lucky For All at $5, Dark Dream at $5.50 and Heavenly Thought and Youngstar at $7.50.
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