2023 Queensland Derby Field & Betting: Kovalica Favourite on the Back-Up

May 23, 2023

2023 Queensland Derby Field & Betting: Kovalica Favourite on the Back-Up

The money is coming for the Chris Waller-trained Kovalica to take out the Ladbrokes Queensland Derby 2023 this weekend in Brisbane on the quick back-up off a Group 1 run at Doomben last weekend.

2023 Doomben Cup winner Huetor

Kovalica backs up in the 2023 Queensland Derby after running third to Huetor (pictured in Sydney) in last weekend’s Doomben Cup. Photo: Steve Hart.

The Ocean Park gelding was brave against the older runners when third behind dual champ Huetor in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) last Saturday.

Prior to that he won the Group 2 Queensland Guineas over the Eagle Farm mile where he will return stepping out over the mile-and-a-half for the first time for the Group 1 $1 million Queensland Derby (2400m).

James McDonald comes aboard for the prized ride on the hot favourite in Queensland Derby betting with Kovalica drawn a treat in barrier five.

The Queensland Derby field features a capacity line-up of three-year-old stayers, and Kovalica is already odds-on at $1.95 through race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au.

Waller has prepared two previous Queensland Derby winners with Hawkspur (2013) and Kukeracha (2021), the latter ridden by the master J. Mac.

Along with the red-hot favourite this Saturday Waller also saddles-up his in-form Sweynesse gelding Special Swey who chases a third win on the trot.

The Kiwi expat made his debut for the stable down under on May 13 in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) winning the Doomben feature by 1.5 lengths in an upset at 30/1.

He won’t be found at that price in the Queensland Derby odds online with Special Swey at $10 to upset his better fancied stablemate.

Shorter occupying the second line of Queensland Derby betting at $6 is the rails-drawn Promises Kept from the stables of Ciaron Maher & David Eustace.

The son of Cluster was formerly prepared by Greg Eurell before a change of stables ahead of his eye-catching second last time out to Dunkel in the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m).

The Bendigo St. Leger Trial winner by over three lengths back in early April was under a length beaten over in Adelaide.

He now travels to the sunshine state fitter for the run and sure to appreciate the 2400m.

The Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock-trained Aberfeldie Boy is another SA Derby graduate backing-up in the Queensland Derby as a $10 shot.

The son of So You Think posted his second Group 1 Derby placing when 2.2 lengths back third at Morphettville having also finished the trifecta in the VRC Derby at Flemington back in the spring.

Other runners being kept safe in the markets after an upset include classy local Better Than Ready gelding The Vowles ($13) for Toby & Trent Edmonds and the John O’Shea-trained Stroke Of Luck ($17).

The Vowles brings in the strong form lines having run third in the Queensland Guineas from a wide alley behind Kovalica before a second to Special Swey in the Rough Habit Plate last time out.

Stroke Of Luck meanwhile was eighth in the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) run in the wet two back before a third in the Rough Habit, which could prove the form line to follow into the QLD Derby.

The Queensland Derby is one of two elite levels on the Eagle Farm race card for Saturday along with the Group 1 $1 million Kingsford Smith Cup (1300m).

Click here for the latest Queensland Derby 2023 betting markets thanks to Ladbrokes.com.au.

2023 Queensland Derby Final Field & Barrier Draw

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Probable Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 41111×313 KOVALICA (NZ) Chris Waller James McDonald 5 57kg 92
2 5×51111132 THE VOWELS Toby & Trent Edmonds James Orman 14 57kg 87
3 3243×133 ABERFELDIE BOY Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock Craig Newitt 8 57kg 88
4 80×9229112 PROMISES KEPT Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Mark Zahra 1 57kg 89
5 x549x41727 ANDALUS (NZ) John O’Shea Blake Shinn 19 57kg 89
6 4424231095 TAPILDOODLEDO (NZ) Kerry Taplin Ben Thompson 7 57kg 80
7 x312425570 WAITAK (NZ) Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott Jake Bayliss 15 57kg 86
8 73094211 SPECIAL SWEY (NZ) Chris Waller Nash Rawiller 17 57kg 81
9 133×922683 STROKE OF LUCK John O’Shea Ben Melham 4 57kg 76
10 4201120114 SMARTAWI Gregory Hickman Tyler Schiller (a) 18 57kg 69
11 4×2521615 ARBY (NZ) Darryn & Briar Weatherley Sam Weatherley 16 57kg 84
12 73×178334 CUT ON A DIME Bryce Heys Damien Thornton 2 57kg 68
13 2x442x312 THE ENGLISHMAN (NZ) Peter & Paul Snowden Chad Schofield 13 57kg 64
14 3x322x6411 FAME Peter G Moody Jason Collett 12 57kg 67
15 x24212x716 XTRAREVZ John Sargent Joshua Parr 6 57kg 65
16 1321 SACRED MISSION (NZ) David Vandyke Craig Williams 10 57kg 66
17 98x4x52614 AMALGAMATION Marcus Wilson Ms Samantha Collett 20 57kg 61
18 786166 TRUE BLUE Matthew Smith Opie Bosson 11 57kg 58
19e 98352742 SUBARCTIC Matthew Smith 9 57kg
20e 765551 ARTFUL GIRL Kevin Kemp Marnu Potgieter (a) 3 55kg 57

Table Credit: Racing Australia. 

 

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