Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
There are now just 33 three-year-olds still in with a shot at the 2013 Queensland Derby trophy on Stradbroke Handicap Day Saturday week after first declarations for the June 8 Group 1’s were taken by Racing Queensland today.
Originally this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) attracted 120 nominees, a figure cut to just 33 at first acceptance stage.
The number one rated horse in the Queensland Derby 2013 first acceptance ballot is the Chris Waller-trained Hawkspur.
The in-form Purrealist gelding has been flying over the past month winning both the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2100m) at Eagle Farm and the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben last Saturday by a combined 5.5 lengths beating fields full of fellow Derby hopes.
Other first acceptors for the Group 1 that ran in the traditional Grand Prix lead-up include runner-up the Michael Moroney-trained Rhythm To Spare, David Payne’s Holy Roman Emperor colt Honorius (3rd) who also finished second in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate at Randwick on Sydney Cup Day, and Murray Baker’s Frank Packer Plate winner Usainity (4th).
Also still in the mix are the Robert Smerdon-trained Electric Fusion who worked well the Queensland way of going on Tuesday morning at home in Melbourne, Grand Prix Stakes fifth placed Arousing Suspicion, Tony Gollan’s last start Ipswich winner Trakstar and the Chris Waller-trained Fastnet Rock gelding Richie’s Bickies who enjoyed a nice win at Rosehill over 1900m in early May.
Current Queensland Derby odds meanwhile are led by John Bary’s Kiwi visitor Survived, the Zed gelding having won four straight races back home in NZ during the autumn before travelling down under for their second in the Rough Habit.
There are four fillies still heading towards a Derby showdown with the colts and geldings with the Kris Lees-trained duo of Express Power and Soapy Star, Queensland Oaks second fancy for this weekend Gondokoro and The Last Shower.
Notable Derby defectors then include Hippopus and Prince Of Penzance.
Check out the official list of Queensland Derby first acceptances below, the final field to be announced next Wednesday.
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2013 Queensland Derby First Acceptances & Ballot
Eagle Farm Racecourse – 08/06/2013
|1||ALI VITAL (NZ)||Michael Moroney||25||57kg|
|2||AMBITIOUS CHAMPION (NZ)||Murray Baker||22||57kg|
|3||AROUSING SUSPICION||Paul Rocke||10||57kg|
|4||BLACK JET||Liam Birchley||20||57kg|
|5||CELTIC PRINCE (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||18||57kg|
|6||ELECTRIC FUSION||Robert Smerdon||8||57kg|
|7||FAUST (NZ)||Danny Williams||14||57kg|
|8||FIFTH COLUMN||Gerard Betros||29||57kg|
|10||HEATER||John P Thompson||19||57kg|
|13||LASER FLASH||David Payne||9||57kg|
|14||LEE HO FOOK (NZ)||Brian Smith||30||57kg|
|15||LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY||Steve Englebrecht||16||57kg|
|16||PARAGGI (NZ)||Shaun Dwyer||26||57kg|
|17||PRINCE OF SONG (NZ)||John P Thompson||33||57kg|
|19||RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||13||57kg|
|20||RICHIE’S BICKIES||Chris Waller||11||57kg|
|21||SAVE THE STAR||Ben Ahrens||23||57kg|
|22||SIR DENZEL (NZ)||John O’Shea||17||57kg|
|23||STAINER (NZ)||John P Thompson||32||57kg|
|24||SURVIVED (NZ)||John Bary||7||57kg|
|25||SWEET AS BRO (NZ)||Leon Corstens||28||57kg|
|26||TONOPAH (USA)||Craig Ritchie||24||57kg|
|28||USAINITY (NZ)||Murray Baker||6||57kg|
|30||EXPRESS POWER||Kris Lees||5||55kg|
|31||GONDOKORO (NZ)||Pat Carey||4||55kg|
|32||SOAPY STAR||Kris Lees||3||55kg|
|33||THE LAST SHOWER (NZ)||Michael Moroney||31||55kg|
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