The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The Graeme & Deborah Rogerson-trained Sharp ‘N’ Smart heads a bumper 2022 Victoria Derby field on the quick back-up chasing the interstate Group 1 double this weekend at Flemington Racecourse.
Last Saturday the flying son of Redwood had no luck in Sydney’s Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), but still managed to come away victorious.
He is now out to extend his winning streak to four on the trot heading south for the time-honoured Group 1 $2 million Penfolds Victoria Derby (2500m) on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at headquarters.
Ace High (2017) was the last three-year-old to complete the Spring Champion – VRC Derby double.
Co-trainer Graeme Rogerson all but declared Sharp ‘N’ Smart the Derby winner straight after last Saturday’s success, confident his horse will run out the 2500m distance no worries.
An ideal barrier three draw and the booking of last weekend’s Cox Plate winning jockey James McDonald further boosts this horse’s chances.
Sharp ‘N’ Smart currently occupies the second line of Victoria Derby betting at $3.60 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Just above him at Victoria Derby odds of $3.30 is another last start winner on the quick back-up, the Dan O’Sullivan-trained Berkeley Square.
Craig Williams chases his first VRC Derby win since Kibbutz (2007) and continues his ace association with this in-form Territories gelding.
After a fourth only a half-length off Golden Mile in the Group 1 $3 million Caulfield Guineas (1600m) two back, Berkeley Square was good from gate five on Cox Plate Day in the wet winning the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) on a Heavy (8).
He’ll need to be good racing on successive Saturdays up in distance, but gets the run of the race from gate five again and is getting plenty of early love from the punters.
The Derby is always a terrific betting race and there are two other runners at single-figures this spring with Mr Maestro at $5.50 and Pericles at $8 for the Godolphin stable.
The airborne Andrew Forsman-trained Kiwi Mr Maestro is drawn the outside barrier in a 16-starter field, but brings in some top form having won his past three on the bounce.
Damian Lane rides the nicely-bred Savabeel colt in place of the horse’s last start hoop Harry Coffey who rode him to a photo-finish win in the Group 3 Neds Classic (2000m) on Caulfield Cup Day.
Prior to that Lane rode the horse four times in Melbourne going back to August 7 including for back-to-back 1800m wins at Flemington on a Heavy (10) and Good (3) showing off the three-year-old’s versatility.
The James Cummings-trained Pericles meanwhile is drawn a treat in barrier six.
He has English hoop William Buick, in town for the Melbourne Cup ride on British raider Without A Fight, in the saddle and is racing for just the fourth time.
The Street Boss gelding won on debut at Newcastle in September and is already into a Group 1 field.
He was solid on a Heavy (10) at Randwick two back when second in the $500,000 Tapp-Craig (1400m) before a third under a length off Berkeley Square in the Vase last weened.
The 2022 Victoria Derby runs as Flemington Race 7 on Saturday’s nine-race card with a jump time of 4:20pm (AEDT).
2022 Victoria Derby Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||2124×111||SHARP ’N’ SMART (NZ)||Graeme & Deborah Rogerson||James McDonald||3||57kg||106|
|2||1×21141||BERKELEY SQUARE||Dan O’Sullivan||Craig Williams||5||57kg||96|
|3||1134×5052||LET’SROLLTHEDICE||Danny O’Brien||Ben Melham||7||57kg||85|
|4||x513x54111||MR MAESTRO (NZ)||Andrew Forsman||Damian Lane||17||57kg||84|
|5||123||PERICLES||James Cummings||William Buick||6||57kg||78|
|6||5×94151||GRAND PIERRO||Jason Warren||Mark Zahra||15||57kg||75|
|7||21928||MANZOICE||Chris Waller||Michael Dee||8||57kg||67|
|8||21×4720||FOUJITA SAN||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jye McNeil||9||57kg||77|
|9||45x01x07||SKYPHIOS||Rob Blacker||Harry Coffey||14||57kg||68|
|10||172||MURAMASA||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Daniel Moor||4||57kg||78|
|11||32x938x444||FEARLESS KNIGHT||Kacy Fogden||Brett Prebble||11||57kg||64|
|12||23535||BERARDINO||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Damien Oliver||10||57kg||66|
|13||3413||DISTRUSTFUL AWARD||Paul Preusker||Dean Yendall||12||57kg||70|
|14||032431||HIGHLAND BLAZE||Jackson Pallot||Liam Riordan||13||57kg||58|
|15||2×803||KING’S CROSSING (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||John Allen||16||57kg||64|
|16||641||LEHNDORFF||Mark Newnham||Joshua Parr||1||57kg||62|
|17e||324||ABERFELDIE BOY||Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock||2||57kg||62|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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