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The powerhouse training duo Grant & Alana Williams are out to dominate the WATC Derby 2021 results yet again saddling-up the airborne odds-on elect Western Empire in Saturday’s Group 2 feature in Perth.
In the past decade, Grant Williams has prepared an incredible eight WATC Derby winners including the past three on the trot in partnership with his daughter Alana thanks to the recent success of Action (2018), subsequent All-Star Mile winner Regal Power (2019) and Tuscan Queen (2020).
This year they saddle-up two of the 10 three-year-olds in the Group 2 $400,000 Schweppes W.A.T.C. Derby (2400m) field at Ascot with stakes placed filly Reliable Star ($31) and the horse to beat Western Empire.
Despite having drawn the outside alley, Western Empire is at a very short quote of $1.35 in the latest WATC Derby betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The ‘Wizard of the West’ William Pike partners the gun son of Iffraaj who comes off a hat-trick of impressive lead-up wins at the track by a combined nine and half lengths.
The gelding’s last start was on March 27 when saluting at near event money ($1.16) in the Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m).
He now looks to extend the winning streak and his brilliance over further and all the money suggest he’ll do just that with ease this weekend.
Western Empire is raced by prolific local owner-breeder Bob Peters who strives for his 11th Derby success.
He has owned nine previous WATC champions and also won an Australian Derby when the event took place at Ascot Racecourse.
“He’s got used to everything now,” Peters told the media speaking of Western Empire this week.
“He threw away a couple of races early which he probably could’ve won if he’d had decent racing manners.
“He’s come along the right path for the Derby so there’s no reason why he can’t continue.”
Just one of his rivals is under double-figures for the upset with the Simon Miller-trained Outback Jack at WATC Derby odds of $8 to turn the tables on Western Empire following a second in the Melvista Stakes.
At $10, Daniel Morton’s All Too Hard filly Temptacion presents a touch of value after her lead-up third when under a length beaten in the Group 3 WA Oaks (2400m) at this track and distance.
Proven at the mile and a half and also backing-up in the WATC Derby out of the Oaks is the winning Real Impact filly Lunar Impact who is a $16 chance to do the double for the first time since Delicacy (2015).
2021 WATC Derby Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||324313111||WESTERN EMPIRE (NZ)||Grant & Alana Williams||William Pike||10||56.5kg||83|
|2||2113×4122||OUTBACK JACK||Stephen Miller||Joseph Azzopardi||5||56.5kg||71|
|3||24983×7554||KERMAN ROCK||Chris Willis||Ms Lucy Warwick||3||56.5kg||61|
|4||8×71254||FLASH DUCATI||Michael Lane||Brad Rawiller||7||56.5kg||66|
|5||065×075||FEAR THE WIND||Daniel & Ben Pearce||Jordan Turner||8||56.5kg||59|
|6||46×7239941||LUNAR IMPACT||David Harrison||Jason Whiting||1||54.5kg||70|
|7||x2139x6154||BRAVE ANGEL (NZ)||Simon A Miller||Brad Parnham||9||54.5kg||70|
|8||31×73113||TEMPTACION||Daniel Morton||Chris Parnham||6||54.5kg||68|
|9||332138||RELIABLE STAR (NZ)||Grant & Alana Williams||Patrick Carbery||4||54.5kg||64|
|10||x51260x915||HOLYOAKE||Brett Pope||Clint Johnston-Porter||2||54.5kg||60|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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