Astoria Has Credentials of a Victoria Derby Winner

October 31, 2017

Astoria Has Credentials of a Victoria Derby Winner

Godolphin head trainer James Cummings chases back-to-back wins in the three-years-old major at Flemington this Saturday and believes Astoria has the right credentials to take out the 2017 Victoria Derby.

Damian Lane

Jockey Damian Lane has the ride on Astoria for last year’s winning trainer James Cummings in Saturday’s Victoria Derby 2017 field. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

Last Melbourne Cup Carnival Cummings prepared Prized Icon (2016) for an upset win at 16/1 in the Group 1 $1.5 million AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m).

This year he returns in his new appointment as Godolphin’s Australian trainer and saddles-up Astoria from the inside alley in a capacity Victoria Derby field.

Polanski (2013) was the last Victoria Derby winner to jump from the inside alley and Medaglia D’Oro colt Astoria currently pays $11 to be the next this weekend.

Jockey Damian Lane, who rides Hartnell for the stable in the 2017 Melbourne Cup field, partners Astoria for the first time on Saturday chasing his first winning ride in the Victoria Derby.

Hugh Bowman was on the up-and-comer for his lead-up third when under a length beaten by the winner in the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) on October 25 having made up plenty of late ground from the tail end of the field.

Bowman is a triple VRC Derby winning hoop having ridden the aforementioned Polanski as well as the back-to-back Kiwi raiders Lion Tamer (2010) and Sangster (2011) to victory.

This year he comes aboard Sully in a wide barrier 15 draw for Sangster’s trainer, the now Cranbourne-based Trent Busuttin.

Astoria is out to be the first Victoria Derby winner out of the Geelong Classic since the Chris Waller-trained Preferment improved on his lead-up second in the race in 2014.

New Zealander Murray Baker, who won the race with the ill-fated Lion Tamer seven years ago, has also accepted for his Geelong Classic winner Weather With You.

Mark Zahra retains the ride on the son of Teofilo who is drawn one outside of Astoria in barrier two and who is at single-figures in the latest Victoria Derby odds paying $6.50 and firming through Ladbrokes.com.au.

Weather With You and Astoria meet at equal weights in the Group 1 rematch after the latter carried 58kg compared to the Geelong Cup winner’s 56kg last time out.

“He’s been building nicely and his effort when giving weight away in the Geelong Derby trial was a nice one and he looks to have trained on well with a nice piece of work this morning,” Cummings said of Astoria at Tuesday morning’s Breakfast With The Stars.

“He’s from the family of Don Eduardo and I think he’s capable of running the trip and importantly he’s got the foundation to be really strong late.

“Astoria hasn’t quite got the Group 1 credentials that Prized Icon had but he still won the Spring Stakes in August as a spring three-year-old.

“He’s had plenty of racing and plenty of experience as most Derby winners seem to need.”

To back Astoria in the Victoria Derby 2017 at the right price this Cup Carnival head to Ladbrokes.com.au.

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