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Trainer Darren Weir is harbouring concerns about how his SA Derby champion Volatile Mix will handle the decreased distance of the Queensland Derby 2017 Saturday week in Brisbane.
With continuing track woes at Eagle Farm, the decision to move this weekend’s Queensland Oaks meeting as well as the Stradbroke Handicap Day line-up on June 10 from there to Doomben Racecourse has caused plenty of controversy.
Due to the different course circumferences of the two tracks, both the Queensland Oaks and Queensland Derby distance has been decreased from 2400m to 2200m.
That could be a notable issue for one of Weir’s big hopes in the $600,000 Group 1 Channel Seven Queensland Derby, Volatile Mix.
Two back the three-year-old son of Pentire broke through at elite level in Adelaide taking out the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m).
He was last seen crossing a devastatingly close second when just nosed out of the win finishing runner-up to Order Again at Eagle Farm on May 27 in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m).
Volatile Mix was brave last weekend in the traditional Queensland Derby lead-up after a wide run from barrier 13 of 14 on the Heavy (8) track.
Weir was originally full of confidence heading into the Queensland Derby with the step back up to a mile and a half to suit.
The subsequent call to move the race however now has him worried about whether Volatile Mix will be too dour for another 2200m run.
Pre-field Queensland Derby odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are currently led by the local Brian Smith-trained Grand Prix Stakes winner Order Again ($4) chasing the double recently achieved by Brambles (2012) and Hawkspur (2013).
Volatile Mix then occupies the second line of all-in Queensland Derby betting at an equal $4.80 quote with the Kiwi raider Shocking Luck who is out to atone for his Grand Prix sixth.
Weir is planning to have two runners in this season’s Queensland Derby field with Volatile Mix to be joined by Rockstar Rebel, the last start Ballarat winner over 2200m to fly to Brisbane next week.
“The plan is to take him up there,” Weir said of Rockstar Rebel when speaking to Racing Victoria on Tuesday.
“He’ll need to have a couple of strong gallops between now and then but provided he continues to do well and work well he will be on the plane on Wednesday week.”
Rockstar Rebel is currently listed as a $17 shot to score an upset Queensland Derby result joining Sonntag ($13 in 2014) and Magicool ($13 in 2015) as the most recent double-figure winners of the three-years-old classic.
To check out the full Queensland Derby 2017 betting odds and options ahead of Saturday week’s clash head to Ladbrokes.com.au now.
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