Ciaron Maher & David Eustace’s last start...
Flying father-daughter training duo Grant & Alana Williams are tipped to continue their outstanding autumn with the stable’s WA Oaks winning filly Tuscan Queen odds-on in WATC Derby 2020 betting against the boys on Saturday.
The Williams stable have not only enjoyed a dominant carnival at home in Perth, but their raid on Melbourne this autumn proved very lucrative when they trained the quinella in the $5 million The All-Star Mile with Regal Power and Superstorm.
They are out to continue their winning ways back home at Ascot this weekend in the Group 2 $320,000 Schweppes W.A.T.C. Derby (2400m) saddling up two fancies including the hot favourite Tuscan Queen.
Co-trainer Grant Williams chases his incredible eighth WATC Derby win in 10 years having prepared seven winners in the past decade including the last two on the trot with his daughter.
Tuscan Queen and stablemate Midnight Blue are out to make it three straight for Team Williams following the success of Action (2018) and the subsequent All-Star Mile champ Regal Power (2019).
She now takes on the boys at the same track and distance of her latest triumph, a dominant two length win in the Group 3 WA Oaks (2400m) on March 28.
Drawn barrier two in the 10-horse WATC Derby field, Tuscan Queen has the ‘Wizard of the West’ William Pike in the saddle again as he chases a ninth win in the feature and his sixth in the past seven years.
The Grant Williams-trained Arcadia Dream (2016) was the last WATC Derby winning filly, while her stablemate Delicacy (2015) the year prior was most recent WA Oaks – Derby double winner that Tuscan Queen is out to emulate on the weekend.
As for $8 chance Midnight Blue, Peter Hall rides the So You Think gelding in the Derby from the outside alley (10) taking over for Clint Johnston-Porter.
A winner up to 2200m, the progressive type was third at big odds two back in the Listed JC Roberts Stakes (1800m) before his last start second in the Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m) on Oaks Day.
There are a further two three-year-olds at single-figures in the latest WATC Derby odds with $7.50 second elect Naughty By Nature and the early market mover Red Hot Tip into $8.50.
Jason Miller saddles-up his Trade Fair filly Naughty By Nature in barrier four with Midnight Blue’s regular rider Clint Johnston-Porter continuing his association with the last start WA Oaks runner-up.
Red Hot Tip meanwhile is the only other last start winner in the race outside the favourite, Stephen Miller’s son of Red Hot Choice coming off a three-quarter length victory in the Melvista Stakes.
He goes up from 55kg that day to 57.5kg however and so will need to be improving with the extra kilos to run out a strong mile and a half.
2020 WATC Derby Field & Barriers
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||4×53121||RED HOT TIP||Stephen Miller||Ryan Hill||3||57.5kg||74|
|2||443132||MIDNIGHT BLUE||Grant & Alana Williams||Peter Hall||10||57.5kg||70|
|3||1×3743||CRIMINAL CODE||Tiarnna Robertson||Joseph Azzopardi||7||57.5kg||64|
|4||11217×4911||TUSCAN QUEEN||Grant & Alana Williams||William Pike||2||55.5kg||83|
|5||341×12392||NAUGHTY BY NATURE||Jason Miller||Clint Johnston-Porter||4||55.5kg||70|
|6||4352215527||PAMBELLA||Neville Parnham||Steven Parnham||5||55.5kg||66|
|7||31013||MISS DOMINICAN||Fred Kersley||Brad Parnham||6||55.5kg||65|
|8||35x170x224||CAMBIST||Robyn Lockwood||Ms Kyra Yuill||1||55.5kg||66|
|9||7613×23684||SAMANTHA’S TWITCH||Daniel Morton||Jarrad Noske||9||55.5kg||56|
|10||273136||SHOWADDYWADDY||Daniel Morton||Chris Parnham||8||55.5kg||58|
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