Australian Derby 2022 Field & Betting Update: Hitotsu Firm Favourite

March 29, 2022

Australian Derby 2022 Field & Betting Update: Hitotsu Firm Favourite

History-making Victoria Derby – Australian Guineas double winner Hitotsu is firm favourite to keep the success going in the 2022 Australian Derby field at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

Hitotsu | Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos | Races.com.au

Hitotsu is the horse to beat in Saturday’s 2022 Australian Derby field. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

One of four elite level races on Day 1 of The Championships in Sydney, the Group 1 $2 million Bentley Australian Derby (2400m) has drawn a capacity final field of three-year-old stayers.

Heading the latest Australian Derby odds at $3 through Ladbrokes.com.au is the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Maurice colt Hitotsu drawn a treat in barrier four.

Jockey John Allen continues associations and chases back-to-back Australian Derby wins for the stable following his victory aboard Explosive Jack (2021) for Maher & Eustace last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

Hitotsu became the first three-year-old to win the Australian Guineas fresh when kicking off his campaign last time out over the Flemington mile on March 5.

He has been kept fresh again with four weeks between runs going into the Australian Derby where he is sure to appreciate the notable rise in distance from 1600m to 2400m.

It is a similar path the stable had him on in the spring when the progressive youngster improved on a third in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) to win the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) by nearly two lengths next start.

Since the Australian Guineas was first run in 1986, no horse has won it and the Australian Derby back-to-back without a run in between.

There have been three to do the double: Mahogany (1994), Gold Guru (1998) and Shamrocker (2011).

The filly Shamrocker (2011) was the latest to complete the Australian Guineas – Australian Derby interstate double, but she had the benefit of a Rosehill Guineas third in between.

The other before her Gold Guru (1998) had two runs in between winning that year’s Ranvet Stakes before a second to Might And Power in the Tancred (known then as the Mercedes Classic) just seven days prior to his AJC Derby victory.

The first to win both events, Mahogony (1994), also had two runs in between with a third in the Australian Cup and Tulloch Stakes victory at Flemington and Rosehill respectively.

History then is there for Hitotsu to make again and the money is on him to do so.

The danger occupying the second line of Australian Derby betting at $7 is Forgot You drawn out in barrier 13 with Mark Zahra retaining the ride on the Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young-trained Savabeel colt.

Fifth to Hitotsu in the VRC Derby in the spring, Forgot You has had three autumn runs this time in when fourth in the Australian Guineas and third behind the runaway winner Anamoe in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) last time out.

Rounding out the single-figure fancies in the Australian Derby odds this season on the quick back-up is the Kiwi Regal Lion ($8) for Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman.

Co-trainer Murray Baker chases an incredible sixth Australian Derby success in Sydney following his previous victories with: No Du Jeu (2008), Dundeel (2013), Mongolian Khan (2015), Jon Snow (2017) and Quick Thinker (2020).

The latest two of those were in partnership with Forsman and the stable look to have a livewire chance again this season with Regal Lion in gate 10 with James McDonald aboard.

The son of Jakkalberry was third in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) a month ago before an eye-catching Australian debut on Monday making up all the ground to flash home for second behind Character in the rescheduled Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (1850m) at Newcastle.

While the Tulloch Stakes has traditionally been an excellent guide to the Australian Derby, the fact this year’s event was postponed before running over an amended distance taking place only five days before the Group 1 makes the form-line a query.

The James Cummings-trained Character ($11) is also on the quick back-up looking to complete the Tulloch Stakes – Australian Derby double from gate 11 with Tommy Berry in the saddle.

Cummings also saddles-up the spring’s Victoria Derby runner-up Alegron ($15), the Teofilo gelding looking to return to form after two disappointing lead-ups including an 11th in the Australian Guineas at 50/1.

The 2022 Australian Derby is set to run as Randwick Race 7 at 3:55pm (AEDT) with the latest markets from Ladbrokes.com.au available in full here.

2022 Australian Derby Field & Barrier Draw

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Probable Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 706x151x1 HITOTSU Ciaron Maher & David Eustace John Allen 4 56.5kg 110
2 5x15432x80 ALEGRON James Cummings Hugh Bowman 3 56.5kg 93
3 311615×443 FORGOT YOU (NZ) Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Mark Zahra 13 56.5kg 92
4 22×1116 CASTLEREAGH KID Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Nash Rawiller 12 56.5kg 86
5 x443155732 REGAL LION (NZ) Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman James McDonald 10 56.5kg 88
6 3116161477 WHITE NOISE (NZ) Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman Robbie Dolan 21 56.5kg 84
7 1x792x7143 WAR ETERNAL (NZ) Bjorn Baker Damian Lane 9 56.5kg 83
8 241428×131 CHARACTER James Cummings Tommy Berry 11 56.5kg 90
9 11492 CAN’T GO WONG (NZ) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Ms Jamie Kah 6 56.5kg 80
10 26x47x4583 MAURICE’S MEDAD Bjorn Baker Joshua Parr 16 56.5kg 80
11 33x5164x86 RAGING BULL David Payne Craig Williams 15 56.5kg 80
12 17254 ELZAMEE Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Chad Schofield 1 56.5kg 72
13 1417×3168 ZOUMON Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Tim Clark 5 56.5kg 72
14 14019×6716 CLYDE Gary Portelli Shaun Guymer 8 56.5kg 67
15 135×6254 BENAUD John O’Shea Brenton Avdulla 19 56.5kg 74
16 1200×501 FOOTLIGHTS (NZ) Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young William Pike 2 56.5kg 64
17 514×63921 SEA TREASURES (NZ) Bjorn Baker Ms Rachel King 17 56.5kg 63
18 430×644186 AKAHATA (NZ) Bjorn Baker Brock Ryan 20 56.5kg 62
19e 037721×374 ASTERNISHING Mick Bell Dean Holland 18 56.5kg 57
20e 2145 MEDIARO Matthew Smith Jay Ford 14 56.5kg 60
21e 3×51 LUKEY LUKE Gwenda Markwell Keagan Latham 7 56.5kg 60

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

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