Phillip Stokes’ Sir John Monash Stakes winning...
David Payne’s Victoria Derby winner Ace High will chase a rare interstate Derby double lining-up from barrier two in Saturday’s Australian Derby 2018 field at Royal Randwick.
Final acceptances for the four elite level ‘The Championships’ races on Day 1 on the weekend closed on Tuesday morning including those for the Group 1 $2 million Australian Derby (2400m).
The official ATC Derby field attracted a capacity 18 staying three-year-olds plus two emergencies and Ace High was one of the big winners barrier-wise with gate two for jockey Tye Angland.
Angland chases his first win in the race aboard the narrow $5 favourite in updated Australian Derby betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, while High Chaparral colt Ace High gives trainer Payne a chance at a second success.
Payne prepared Criterion for his 2014 ATC Derby success when the horse backed-up off a Rosehill Guineas win.
The Rosehill Guineas has produced six Australian Derby winners since 2009 and Ace High is out to improve on his sixth in the Group 1 over 2000m this season.
The rise to a mile and a half is set to suit the proven stayer however as he won the Group 1 VRC Derby (2500m) at Flemington in Melbourne last spring.
The best out of the Rosehill Guineas backing-up in the Australian Derby field in 2018 are the runner-up Tangled and third placegetter Furore prepared by Chris Waller and Kris Lees respectively.
Tangled is drawn gate 10 for Saturday’s rematch and is joined in the field by $21 roughie stablemate The Lord Mayor who drew right out in gate 18.
Snitzel colt Tangled has also been left alone at $17 in betting needing a soft track to be competitive and with plenty of ground needing to be made up if he is to finish closer than his 11th to Ace High in the Victoria Derby last November.
Furore meanwhile is shorter at $7 to win the ATC Derby for his Newcastle trainer Lees, the previously undefeated son of Pierro having won his opening four starts in non-black type class before the Rosehill Guineas third.
Following Ace High and Furore in the Australian Derby odds are two $9 fancies with money for the Kiwi raider Vin De Dance in gate four and Belfast out wide in 17 but in improving form.
The Australian Derby results in the decade have been dominated by New Zealand-trained winners including the four wins by Murray Baker-trained horses: Nom Du Jeu (2008), It’s A Dundeel (2013), Mongolian Khan (2015) and Jon Snow (2017).
This year Baker and co-trainer Andrew Forsman are in the mix with four chances led by the reigning NZ Derby winner Vin De Dance.
The Roc De Cambes gelding had his Australian race debut in the Rosehill Guineas running two and a half-lengths back four fourth and presents fitter second-up here in the good gate getting up in distance.
The other Baker & Forsman-trained runners in the field are: the rails-drawn Weather With You on the quick back-up after a third in last Saturday’s Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m), Mission Hill in gate nine with last year’s ATC Derby winning hoop Damian Lane to ride and the Tulloch Stakes fourth placegetter Mongolian Marshal in the outside barrier (20 into 18).
As for Belfast, the Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young-trained Teofilo colt is tipped to improve on his fifth in last Saturday’s Tulloch Stakes where he charged to the line late.
Other standout ATC Derby horses this year including last weekend’s Tulloch Stakes winner Levendi ($11) in barrier three chasing the double Jon Snow completed last autumn, and the early James Cummings-trained market mover Astoria who ran third in last year’s VRC Derby and second in the Tulloch Stakes last weekend.
View the full Australian Derby 2018 field and odds below, prices open now at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2018 Australian Derby Final Field & Betting Odds
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