The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Despite having just his third start and being untested over further than 1800m the Danny O’Brien-trained Young Werther remains the well-supported favourite in Victoria Derby 2020 betting this weekend in Melbourne.
The coveted Melbourne Cup Carnival gets underway at Flemington on Saturday with racing headlined by the three-year-old stayers doing battle in the Group 1 $2 million AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m).
It is a lightly-raced son of for last year’s Melbourne Cup winning trainer O’Brien heading the VRC Derby odds at Ladbrokes.com.au with Young Werther ($3.90) tipped to relish the rise in class and distance.
Jockey Damien Oliver retains the ride on the Tavistock gelding having ridden him in his two lead-up runs for a win on debut in a three-years-old maiden at Geelong and the last start second in the Listed Super Impose Stakes.
The form of that easier event at Flemington on October 3 has held over the past few weeks and the bookies are tipping that to continue on Saturday in the big one.
Oliver meanwhile chases his sixth Victoria Derby win since 2000 having celebrated his fifth victory last year aboard the Anthony Freedman-trained Warning (2019).
O’Brien remains confident Young Werther can live up to the challenge and produce for the punters in his acid test on the weekend having pulled off a similar feat with Russian Camelot in the SA Derby.
“I don’t think fitness will beat him. He did a lot of work over the winter with our Melbourne Cup horses and he is as fit or fitter than horses like Vow and Declare and Russian Camelot,” he told The Age this week.
“He’s fine to go the 2500m on Saturday against his own age group in the Derby.
“We made a little gear adjustment and put a set of winkers on him just to make him focus a bit better in the run.”
The other best out of the Super Impose Stakes in Saturday’s Victoria Derby field is the Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young-trained third placegetter Albarado.
He was under a length off the winner Khoekhoe in the event from out wide (barrier 14 of 16) and franked the form on Caulfield Cup Day winning the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m).
The in-form Savabeel colt is now out to do the double for the first time since Polanski (2013), while the Norman Robinson form also held up in last year’s VRC Derby results with the winner Warning improving on his lead-up second in the same event.
Albarado will again be ridden by Mark Zahra, has drawn well mid-field in barrier eight and can be found at current Victoria Derby odds of $7.50.
Sandwiched between the favourite and the Norman Robinson winner in the markets is then the Patrick Payne-trained Cherry Tortoni at $4.20 and firming.
The early market mover having been found as long as $6 post-barriers when drawing out in gate 14 of 14, the Night Of Thunder gelding has been heavily backed over the past few days to continue his brilliant strike-rate at Flemington.
From three runs at the iconic track he has enjoyed two wins and a third and he was last seen saluting at The Valley in the Group 2 Vase over 2040m on Cox Plate Day.
Matt Cumani’s Norman Robinson runner-up Hit The Shot ($7) rounds out the single-figure fancies in the current markets before a big drift on Let’s Karaka Deel has the third placegetter out of the same lead-up out to $10 for last weekend’s Cox Plate winning trainers Ciaron Maher & David Eustace.
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