The money continues to roll in for Annabel...
After a number of notable withdrawals the official Victoria Derby 2017 field for the big one at Flemington on Saturday has been confirmed and features a capacity line-up.
The premier race for three-year-old stayers during the spring, this season’s Group 1 $1.5 million Victoria Derby (2500m) has attracted a full 16 starters plus an emergency in Beachwood (6).
Earlier in the week the Victoria Derby field lost a host of key early players including one-time favourite Cliff’s Edge after his distant second to Crown Oaks-bound filly Aloisia in last Saturday’s Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m).
Royal Symphony was also a confirmed non-acceptor before Tuesday morning’s final entries, trainer Tony McEvoy not keen to back the youngster up out of his tough Cox Plate fourth where he suffered interference from Happy Clapper and the now suspended Damien Oliver.
Vin De Dance was a 50/50 chance to line-up in the VRC Derby field after the Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman-trained Kiwi galloper’s Moonee Valley Vase fifth, but is missing from the line-up.
Instead the OTI Racing-owned Roc De Cambes gelding will be saved for VRC Oaks Day, November 9, contesting the Listed TCL Curved TV Stakes (1800m).
New favourite in Victoria Derby betting is then the Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young-trained Reliable Man gelding Main Stage to be ridden by Michael Walker from out wide (14).
Two back the horse saluted at Flemington beating home Cliff’s Edge in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) before running third to the same horse in the Group 3 Ladbrokes Classic (2000m) on Caulfield Cup Day.
Polanski (1st in 2013) was the last graduate out of the Ladbrokes Classic, registered as the Norman Robinson Stakes, to win the Victoria Derby.
Main Stage is joined in the race by stablemates Sully also wide in barrier 15 and Johnny Vinko in a more favourable gate four draw, to be ridden by Hugh Bowman and Stephen Baster respectively.
The team also have the aforementioned emergency runner Beachwood in the mix.
Bowman is a three-time Victoria Derby winning jockey having been successful aboard New Zealand raiders Lion Tamer (2010) and Sangster (2011), as well as Polanski (2013).
The other best out of the Ladbrokes Classic from October 21 meanwhile out to frank the form in the Group 1 on Saturday is the Chris Waller-trained third placegetter Tangled in gate 11 with the in-form Blake Shinn riding.
Waller won the Victoria Derby in 2014 with Preferment and chases a second in 2017 saddling-up in-form Snitzel colt Tangled.
Tangled also ran second in Randwick’s Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) two back in Sydney and gets the chance to go one better stepping-up in distance on Derby Day.
Spring Champion Stakes winner Ace High is another key acceptor in the Melbourne feature on the weekend, the David Payne-trained Sydney raider back in Melbourne for the first time since his fifth in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) in March.
Ace High is looking to be the first Victoria Derby winner to come off a Sydney lead-up since Fiveandahalfstar who backed-up out of a fifth in Rosehill’s Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes and drew well in barrier three.
The aforementioned Sully is also out of a Spring Champion Stakes having placed a nice third beaten under three lengths.
The New Zealanders have an outstanding recent record in the Victoria Derby results and this year Baker & Forsman saddle-up last start Geelong Classic winner Weather With You from barrier two with Mark Zahra retaining the ride.
There are no fillies taking on the colts and geldings in this year’s VRC Derby field, connections of the impressive Vase winner Aloisia saving her for a run against her own kind in Thursday week’s Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m).
See below for the full Victoria Derby 2017 field, barriers and jockeys with updated odds available shortly at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Victoria Derby Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington – 04/11/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||5564×15511||ACE HIGH||David Payne||Tye Angland||3||55.5kg||100|
|2||51100×9422||TANGLED||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||11||55.5kg||90|
|3||120×31553||ASTORIA||James Cummings||Damian Lane||1||55.5kg||77|
|4||1617×42565||ESHTIRAAK||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Kerrin McEvoy||5||55.5kg||70|
|5||3×21213||MAIN STAGE (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Michael Walker||14||55.5kg||75|
|6||23×1143||SULLY (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Hugh Bowman||15||55.5kg||77|
|7||422×2471||WEATHER WITH YOU||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Mark Zahra||2||55.5kg||72|
|8||226×14554||ABERRO||Matt Laurie||Ben Melham||13||55.5kg||63|
|9||505×75164||PISSARO||Robbie Laing||Noel Callow||10||55.5kg||62|
|10||8325716||JUSTICE FAITH||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Craig Williams||16||55.5kg||61|
|11||312||OCEAN’S FOURTEEN (NZ)||Aaron Purcell||Luke Nolen||7||55.5kg||67|
|12||0x121||GREYCLIFFE (NZ)||Matt Cumani||Jordan Childs||9||55.5kg||67|
|13||2230||JOHNNY VINKO (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Stephen Baster||4||55.5kg||63|
|14||004×547327||NOTHING TOO HARD||Paul Perry||Beau Mertens (a)||12||55.5kg||57|
|15||3210||ROCKARRAL||Tony McEvoy||John Allen||8||55.5kg||62|
|16||326||WOLFE TONE (NZ)||Francis Finnegan||Jye McNeil||17||55.5kg||60|
|17e||5×7822||BEACHWOOD (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||TBA||6||55.5kg||56|
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