The Robert Heathcote-trained favourite Rothfire...
Richard Litt’s last start Rosehill Guineas winner Castelvecchio sits top of the Australian Derby 2020 field and betting markets for Saturday at Royal Randwick on Day 1 of ‘The Championships’.
This season’s Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) final field features a dozen young stayers competing for a reduced $1 million in prizemoney due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The spring’s eye-catching Ladbrokes Cox Plate runner-up saluted third-up on March 21 when winning the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) ahead of his distance test this weekend.
Jockey James McDonald comes aboard for the ride chasing his second ATC Derby success after that aboard the Kiwi galloper, Castelvecchio’s sire, Dundeel back in 2013.
Drawn gate nine, Castelvecchio is out to do the Rosehill Guineas – Australian Derby double for the first time since Criterion (2014).
Hot on his heels in Australian Derby betting at $3.60 to turn the tables is then Mark Newnham’s Randwick Guineas champ Shadow Hero coming off a fourth in the Rosehill Guineas.
The Pierro gelding won the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) last October defeating Castelvecchio and was impressive in the Randwick Guineas over a mile second-up, but had a luckless run for fourth in the Rosehill Guineas last time out.
Joshua Parr retains the ride on Saturday for the rematch with Shadow Hero in barrier seven as he goes out over further than 2000m for the first time since his distant fifth when 10 lengths beaten in Flemington’s Group 1 VRC Derby (2500m) last November.
The VRC Derby champion Warning also lines-up in the Australian Derby field on the weekend as the $5 third favourite.
Warning is out to be the first Victorian Derby winner to return and take out the Australian Derby since Mahogany (1993, 1994) and presents fit fourth-up.
The Anthony Freedman-trained Declaration Of War gelding is proven over the distance having dominated the Flemington race by over three lengths in the spring.
He ran fifth in both the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas results, but gets his chance to prove he can handle the Sydney way of racing from barrier 10 with Tommy Berry in the saddle on Saturday.
Rounding out the horses at single-figure Australian Derby odds this season at $8.50 is then the Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman-trained Quick Thinker.
The Kiwi won his way into the field via a dominant performance in last weekend’s Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) and is on the quick back-up this weekend.
Both Levendi (2018) and Angel Of Truth (2019) completed the Tulloch Stakes – Australian Derby double meaning Quick Thinker is out to do the feat for the third time in as many years.
His Cambridge-based trainer Baker meanwhile chases a fifth Australian Derby victory, his latest coming in partnership with Forsman in 2017 with Jon Snow.
2020 Australian Derby Field & Barriers
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1x4722x681||CASTELVECCHIO||Richard Litt||James McDonald||9||56.5kg||110|
|2||4x3115x514||SHADOW HERO||Mark Newnham||Joshua Parr||7||56.5kg||107|
|3||x34121x755||WARNING||Anthony Freedman||Tommy Berry||10||56.5kg||103|
|4||x151341317||SHERWOOD FOREST||Tony Pike||Kerrin McEvoy||12||56.5kg||100|
|5||45x30x6131||ERIC THE EEL||Stuart Kendrick||Nash Rawiller||11||56.5kg||–|
|6||x1356x4231||QUICK THINKER||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Opie Bosson||6||56.5kg||83|
|7||26×112||ZEBROWSKI (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Hugh Bowman||4||56.5kg||77|
|8||17x11x98||CHAINS OF HONOUR||Gerald Ryan||Robbie Brewer||5||56.5kg||76|
|9||947319×241||SKIDDAW||Danny O’Brien||Brenton Avdulla||2||56.5kg||–|
|10||155×4233||DIASONIC||Richard Laming||Tim Clark||1||56.5kg||73|
|11||1120||GET THE IDEA||John Sargent||Jason Collett||8||56.5kg||67|
|12||x66300x112||SACRAMENTO||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Adam Hyeronimus||3||56.5kg||65|
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