Thu, Oct 30, 5:48am by Daryl Curnow
THE Group One Victoria Derby is the feature race this Saturday at Flemington and whilst it may not have any notable top-liners, the field is one of the most even in recent history, which should entertain the masses on and off-course.
Recent Group One Spring Champion Stakes winner Hampton Court is looking to give Gai Waterhouse yet another big-race win to make up for racing’s first lady not having a runner in this years 2014 Melbourne Cup. Chris Waller also only has one runner, Preferment, who stormed home for second in the Geelong Classic, yet still remains win-less.
1. Hampton Court (11) – $2.70 at BetEasy.com.au
2. Moonovermanhattan (12) – $8
3. Prentice (8) – $251
4. Firehouse Rock (10) – $26
5. Magicool (16) – $21
6. Lotion (5) – $67
7. Nozomi (13) – $26
8. Light Up Manhattan (7) – $21
9. Bondeiger (1) – $9
10. Royal Standing (15) – $51
11. Atmosphere (4) – $11
12. Gouldian (3) – $26
13. Preferment (6) – $6 at Sportsbet.com.au
14. Cuban Fighter (9) – $41
15. San Padre (9) – $21
16. The Mighty Jrod (17) – $81
17. Verreaux (14) – $67
Hampton Court – $2.70:
The three-year-old colt by Redoute’s Choice looked inferior to his rivals over the shorter distances this campaign, including defeats behind Swaynesse twice, Brazen Beau and Mossfun, but when he stepped up over ground he has looked very good. He won over 1600 metres two starts back in a listed race at Randwick – beating a moderate field – before stylishly upsetting both First Seal and Swaynesse in the Group One Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick.
That win came over 2000 metres and Waterhouse has said all along that he’s a Derby contender, and the bookies have listened by making him the stand alone favourite at $2.70. Hampton Court races in similar fashion to 2011 champion Sangster, who recently retired from racing, and if he can emulate a similar styled run, he will be very tough to beat.
Preferment – $6:
It’s not often you get the second favourite for the VRC Derby having not won a race, but Chris Waller lines up Preferment who is still looking to crack his maiden status.
The Zabeel colt has had six starts for three seconds and one third, but it was his last start effort for second behind Nozomi in the 2014 Geelong Classic that has caught people’s attention. He started the favourite in the 2200 metre feature at Geelong and after looking beaten on the turn, he picked himself up and only narrowly missed by a nose at the line. That run showed his will to win and also his ability to run the distance – something his rivals, barring the favourite, might struggle with.
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