The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Two last start winners are battling for top spot in 2021 Victoria Derby betting with Gunstock and Forgot You the standout two acceptors for the time-honoured classic on day one of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The countdown to the cup heats up in earnest with Derby Day at HQ on Saturday, the meeting for racing purists headlined by the three-year-olds facing off in the Group 1 $2 million Penfolds Victoria Derby (2500m).
The 2021 Victoria Derby features a capacity line-up and the two favourites have drawn opposite ends of the field with Gunstock drawn 19 (into 15 with emergencies out) and Forgot You in 8 (potentially into 7).
The Mick Price & Michael Kent Junior-trained Gunstock holds narrow favouritism in Victoria Derby betting at $3.30 for the win despite the wide alley for hoop Jye McNeil to contend from.
Bred for the distance, the Tavistock colt has been rising through the ranks well this prep and was last seen saluting in the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) by nearly two lengths over the filly El Patroness.
Polanski (2013) was the last horse to complete the Caulfield Classic – Victoria Derby double and there is early money to suggest Gunstock has what it takes to overcome the alley and be the next.
Gunstock is joined in the Victoria Derby field by stablemate Jungle Magnate ($21) on the quick back-up off his Moonee Valley Vase third on Cox Plate Day.
Also on the quick back-up off a win in last Saturday’s Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) is the narrow $3.50 second elect Forgot You for Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young.
The sole three-year-old in Monday’s latest round of Melbourne Cup entries, the Kiwi-bred son of Savabeel needs a win on the weekend to pass the ballot clause for the world’s richest handicap three days later.
He has won both the Group 2 Stutt Stakes and the Vase this prep with a midfield sixth as a 20/1 outsider in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in between this campaign and will again be ridden by Daniel Moor in the Derby.
Outside the dominant duo the other runners at single-figure Victoria Derby odds this season are Alegron ($8) and Hitotsu ($9).
Godolphin trainer James Cummings is after his second Victoria Derby win following his 2016 success of Prized Icon and is represented by 40/1 outsider Character and Alegron this season.
The duo jump side-by-side from barriers 10 and 9 respectively with the better fancied Alegron coming off a nice third to Profondo in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) in Sydney from October 9.
The in-form Ciaron Maher & David Eustace stable meanwhile are in with a strong chance saddling-up Maurice colt Hitotsu who comes off a fifth at big odds to Anamoe in the Caulfield Guineas.
Last week’s Geelong Classic winner Tutukaka for Kiwi horseman Tony Pike and Dundeel gelding Teewaters who ran third to Gunstock in the Caulfield Classic are among the other standout acceptors.
2021 Victoria Derby Field & Barriers
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