The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The 2022 Australian Derby takes place as part of a bumper day’s racing at Royal Randwick in the mud on Saturday and below we have our insider tips and best bets on the $2 million classic for three-year-olds.
This year’s Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) is running as Race 7 at 3:55pm (AEDT), weather and track conditions permitting, on the 10-race card for Day 1 of The Championships.
We have a capacity field of young stayers and all the money in Australian Derby betting at Ladbrokes.com.au seems centred on Ciaron Maher & David Eustace’s star Hitotsu ($3.80).
The spring’s Victoria Derby champ made history with his win fresh in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) a month ago and now heads north for the Derby in Sydney.
Success will see him become the first horse to achieve the Australian Guineas – Australian Derby double without a run in between, and the punters are keen!
A trio of his rivals are now also under double-figure Australian Derby odds with NZ Derby placegetter Regal Lion ($5.50) on the quick back-up from Monday’s Tulloch Stakes second, Forgot You ($7.50) coming out of the Rosehill Guineas (3rd) and Tulloch Stakes winner Character ($9.50) presenting as the dangers.
So, does Hitotsu have this in the bag or is there an upset Australian Derby result pending on a Heavy (10) track on Saturday afternoon?
The Favourite: #1 Hitotsu ($3.80 at time of publish) – BET NOW
The last three-year-old to do the Victoria Derby/Australian Derby double was Mahogony (1994) so it takes a pretty good horse to do it. This is a pretty good horse right here. He looked in top form fresh in the Guineas over the mile at headquarters and has been set for this mile and a half feature. He has the class to win and comes via the same formula they adopted in the spring. The only queries are Randwick in the wet. History is there to be made, but the weather gods might just have a say yet. EACH WAY.
Best Bet: #5 Regal Lion ($5.50 at time of publish) – BET NOW
Was value earlier in the week but Regal Lion has been absolutely smashed and is into $5.50 second favouritism. This Kiwi raider was good at home across the Tasman on March 5 when two lengths third in the NZ Derby over this distance as a 40/1 shot. That was on a Good track. He debuted down under on Monday in the rescheduled Tulloch Stakes over 1850m at Newcastle and was eye-catching, flashing late to cross a length back second to Character. He’s on the quick back-up and will relish the mile and a half. Again, that really Heavy track is a query. He has never been on anything worse than Soft but is from the right stable with co-trainer Murray Baker chasing his sixth Australian Derby victory. BACK DON’T SACK.
Best Roughie: #7 War Eternal ($21 at time of publish) – BET NOW
Value to be had outside the dominant hopes and War Eternal looks a horse forgotten in this year’s ATC Derby. Bjorn Baker’s nicely-bred Pierro colt has wet track form and is the progressive runner in the mix. Improving each run and form around Converge / Anamoe when fourth in the Randwick Guineas on a Heavy (9) two back. Those are good horses. Comes via a third in Moonee Valley’s Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) and will appreciate a wet track in Sydney. Hasn’t won over further than 1400m though so the distance is the question. If he runs it out, he can surprise a few of these. PLACE CHANCE.
*All odds quoted are provided by Ladbrokes.com.au, correct at time of print and subject to change.
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