Ladbrokes Queensland Derby 2023 Results: Kovalica Too Good

May 27, 2023

Ladbrokes Queensland Derby 2023 Results: Kovalica Too Good

The Chris Waller-trained Kovalica was far too good in the Ladbrokes Queensland Derby 2023 results on Saturday with the odds-on elect posting a bullish win in the mile-and-a-half classic at Eagle Farm.

2023 Doomben Cup winner Huetor

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

The Queensland Guineas winning Ocean Park gelding had a small hiccup a fortnight ago missing the Rough Habit Plate but atoned when given his final lead-up to cross a brave third behind the older horses in last Saturday’s Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m).

Back against his own kind and up in distance for the Group 1 $1 million Ladbrokes Queensland Derby (2400m) on the quick back-up Kovalica was in a class of his own.

Jumping the odds-on elect the gun youngster was into a lovely position soon after the jump with jockey James McDonald giving the favourite an absolutely faultless ride.

McDonald knew he was on the fit and form horse in the Derby, peeling out three-wide early to keep out of trouble.

Having done so little work after getting all the favours in the run Kovalica swept up at the 400m and took control a long way out from the line.

Charging into the clear the horse led the entire straight easily accounting for his fellow three-year-olds with a two-length domination.

“Obviously he’s had the perfect preparation in terms of getting the distance,” an always-confident Waller told Sky Thoroughbred Central post-win.

“Once he hit the front I thought ‘he’s fit enough, he’ll be right’.

“Faultless ride, obviously barrier draws make things so much easier.

“James cleverly got out in a three wide line. He got out to make his own luck.”

In a brave but distant second was the improving Peter Moody-trained Fame coming off back-to-back wins in easier grade.

Completing the strung-out Queensland Derby trifecta in third was the John O’Shea-trained Stroke Of Luck who also ran third in the Rough Habit.

It was a mixed Queensland Derby result for Waller who ran both first and last with something going amiss with his Rough Habit Plate winner Special Swey who barley made it over the finishing line.

Waller is now a three-time Queensland Derby winning trainer having earlier won the event with Hawkspur (2013) and the McDonald-ridden Kukeracha in 2021.

2023 Queensland Derby Results & Finishing Order

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Penalty Starting Price
1 1 KOVALICA (NZ) Chris Waller James McDonald 4 57kg $1.70F
2 14 FAME Peter G Moody Jason Collett 1.95L 10 57kg $10
3 9 STROKE OF LUCK John O’Shea Ben Melham 4.02L 3 57kg $31
4 4 PROMISES KEPT Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Mark Zahra 6.89L 1 57kg $7.50
5 5 ANDALUS (NZ) John O’Shea Blake Shinn 6.98L 17 57kg $21
6 12 CUT ON A DIME Bryce Heys Damien Thornton 7.24L 2 57kg $81
7 3 ABERFELDIE BOY Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock Craig Newitt 7.31L 7 57kg $18
8 15 XTRAREVZ John Sargent Joshua Parr 7.82L 5 57kg $61
9 11 ARBY (NZ) Darryn & Briar Weatherley Sam Weatherley 11.07L 14 57kg $101
10 6 TAPILDOODLEDO (NZ) Kerry Taplin Ben Thompson 12.4L 6 57kg $101
11 10 SMARTAWI Gregory Hickman Tyler Schiller (a) 12.78L 16 57kg $81
12 2 THE VOWELS Toby & Trent Edmonds James Orman 12.89L 12 57kg $17
13 13 THE ENGLISHMAN (NZ) Peter & Paul Snowden Chad Schofield 13.16L 11 57kg $101
14 7 WAITAK (NZ) Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott Jake Bayliss 13.95L 13 57kg $101
15 17 AMALGAMATION Marcus Wilson Ms Samantha Collett 14.04L 18 57kg $201
16 19e SUBARCTIC Matthew Smith Larry Cassidy 15.61L 8 57kg $201
17 16 SACRED MISSION (NZ) David Vandyke Craig Williams 32.54L 9 57kg $61
18 8 SPECIAL SWEY (NZ) Chris Waller Nash Rawiller 127.04L 15 57kg $13
20e ARTFUL GIRL Kevin Kemp Marnu Potgieter (a) 0
18 TRUE BLUE Matthew Smith Opie Bosson 0

Table Credit: Racing Australia. 

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