Thu, Nov 1, 11:31am by Staff Writer
The Flemington carnival hits Melbourne on Saturday, with arguably Australia’s best day of racing – Derby Day. The rail will be in the true and the track in the good range.
The Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) is the feature event with a capacity field of 16 plus the two emergencies accepted to run.
Thinkin’ Big ($2.90) will sport the number one saddle cloth and he’s also favourite for the race. He opened favourite in all-in betting after his first-up win in the G3 Gloaming (1800m) but dropped down slightly in the markets after finishing third in the G1 Spring Champion (2000m). He then shot back to be a solid favourite after his big win in the G3 Norm Robinson (2000m) last start. A winner of four from six, with two minors – both when second-up – he’s drawn barrier nine and a win here could see the three-year-old line up in the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.
Aramayo ($6.50) has drawn next door in ten, with two wins and three minors from his six starts. A G3 Spring Stakes (1600m) winner at Newcastle he beat home Thinkin’ Big in the G1 Spring Champion when going down to Maid of Heaven in a photo. Last week he was third to Stars of Carrum ($9.50) and Savoie ($9.50) who also line up here.
Star of Carrum broke his maiden last start, at the friendless odds of 50-1 while Savoie has always been near the top of betting for this race and he’s one of two runners for DK Weir, Extra Brut ($9.50) the other. A winner of three from five, he finished sixth of nine behind Thinkin’ Big last start when sent out favourite.
Chapada ($14) has the one win from four starts but his first attempt outside maiden was when second to Thinkin’ Big at Caulfield. Home Ground ($21) and Farooq ($15) ran the quinella in the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m), with Home Ground drawing barrier 16 and Farooq, barrier two for Saturday.
The Group 1 Coolmore Stud (1200m) is one of four G1’s for the day, and a highly lucrative stud career could be on the cards for the winner of this race.
Zousain ($4.20) will be trying to emulate those feats of his sire, who took out this race in 2013 and he’s got some of the best form around with two narrow seconds to stable mate The Autumn Sun – both times in G1 grade. Lean Mean Machine ($12) also lines up for Waller and he also has a victory over Zousain earlier in his career and was a strong winner when first-up in the G2 Run to the Rose (1200m).
Sesar ($8) was ultra-impressive when winning the G2 Roman Consul (1200m) at Randwick on a heavy-8, with Eagle Farm trainer Steve O’Dea enjoying good form of late away from his QLD base.
Written By ($4.20) has had a low-key build up this preparation but he’s a winner of six from seven, he already has a G1 Blue Diamond (1200m) on his CV and was fourth, beaten under 2L in a G1 Golden Slipper (1200m).
Diplomatico ($8) has won two from three and he’s the one being branded as the “X-factor” in the race.
Encryption ($8) was a G2 Danehill (1200m) winner over this track and distance beaten Thorondor ($61), with a second to Written By since, while Sunlight ($4.60) is the lone filly in the race and she’s back to her own age after a forgive run in the G1 Manikato (1200m) last Friday night when sent out favourite.
Long Leaf ($26) has mixed it with the best all his whole career but is yet to win after winning his first three career starts while Pacquirri ($126) has the one win – a G3 – from his seven starts.
Suggested Bet: In what’s a cracking day of racing, going with Osborne Bulls ($3.40, race 3 number 1) to start the carnival on a good note. Yes, he does have top weight of 59kg and he’s giving weight to some in-form horses like Winter Bride and Runson but he’s a winner of eight from 13, he was beaten just over 1L in a G1 Rupert Clarke (1400m) before running third in The Everest (1200m) against the best sprinters going around so surely that’s good enough for here.
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