2016 Australian Derby Field Preview and Tips

Mick still to leave Sydney with a first. He may have missed out picking up his first Golden Slipper with Extreme Choice, however Mick Price could still return to Caulfield with his first ATC Derby with Tarzino the favourite for Saturday’s renewal. If successful, Tarzino will put his name alongside the likes of recent winners It’s A Dundeel and Criterion who both also saluted as dominant favourites.
He’ll also join Mahogany as a winner of the VRC and ATC Derbies. As of Wednesday evening he was $1.95 with the only legitimate threats to him being Tally and the only filly in the race, Jameka, both of whom are at $6.00. The last filly to win the race was Shamrocker (2011); before her – Research in 1989.


1 – TARZINO – C Newitt (6)

He started the short-priced favourite in last fortnight’ Rosehill Guineas after two excellent runs back from a summer spell and didn’t let punters down. Settled just behind the speed from an inside draw and was just too strong in the straight, defeating Montaigne, who had followed him throughout, by 1.8 lengths. Gets another great run here, 2400m poses no problem, in-form and is the obvious one to beat.


2 – VANBRUGH – H Bowman (8)

Improving with each of his three runs in this prep with the latest a very good fourth (3.9 lengths) to Tarzino in the Rosehill Guineas. Settled wide midfield with cover, and presented at the right time upon straightening, finishing strongly. Good run last time out – has won each of his two runs at Randwick at or beyond 2400m and presents as one of the leading challengers to the fav.


3 – ETYMOLOGY – S Clipperton (5)

Ran second to Tarzino in last year’s VRC Derby but is far from producing a similar result here given his efforts in four runs back from that campaign. Settled midfield in last week’s Rosehill Guineas and tracked Tarzino and Montaigne – who went on to quinella the race, into the straight. Couldn’t match it with the final 200m and battled on to finish sixth (4.6 lengths). Hard to see how he turns that margin around.


4 – TALLY – J McDonald (9)

Winner of each of his four runs this time in has the rapidly improving son of Street Cry who last start, comprehensively beat the in-form Palentino to take out the G2 Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley. He is going from strength-to-strength and no surprise to see McDonald ditch Etymology for this bloke. Yet to race beyond 2040m, and the step up to 2400m at Randwick a big difference to his Moonee Valley outing but appears to be timing his tilt at this race perfectly.


5 – SOVEREIGN NATION – B Avdulla (11)

Settled three back on the fence and from there, found plenty of traffic as the field bunched turning for home in the G3 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) last week. After shouldering his way clear at the 300m mark, he finished steadily to claim fourth (4.4 lengths) behind in-form Old North. Might’ve finished closer had he been able to warm into the race unimpeded last time out but despite the interference, form this time in suggests he’ll find this too tough.


6 – TORGERSEN – O Bosson (7)

Enjoyed the step up to 2000m after three plain runs over shorter trips this prep, and produced a strong second to in-form Old North in the Tulloch Stakes. He was last straightening and angled out to be widest runner at the 300m, letting down well to finish 1.3 lengths behind the winner. Very encouraging effort his first go over a distance and should only be better for the experience. Place chance case could be made for him at double-figure odds.


7 – GOLD AMBITION – Z Purton (13)

Bjorn Baker’s galloper belied his starting price of $81 to run third in the Randwick Guineas behind Le Romain and Press Statement before nothing went right for him in the Rosehill Guineas, where he was caught deep throughout, threw a plate, and weakened in the straight to finish a tiring eleventh. The son of Savabeel has the services of Zac Purton but not even his horsemanship will be able to steer him to victory against this lot from the widest gate.


8 – WHAT’S THE STORY – B Shinn (4)

Golden Slipper-winning jockey Blake Shinn scores the ride on this visiting New Zealander who, despite registering two low-key victories from six starts, contested the NZ Derby and went within a lip of winning it. Trainer Steve McKee of Sunline fame, knows what it takes to win a race during the Australian Carnival and the form out of the NZ Derby has held up ok. Watch the weather, he likes sting out of the track and should he get those conditions, he’s another that could run a race better than his $15 price would suggest.


9 – TAVAGO – T Berry (1)

Nothing went right for this New Zealand galloper two starts back when last of thirteen in the G2 Waikato Guineas and best to ignore that run. He drew wide at his next and most recent run, the NZ Derby, and settled a long way back before making a sustained run and finishing sixth (1.9 lengths) from Rangipo with What’s The Story second. Record in NZ has earned him a trip across for this race, gets a good run from the inside but wonder if there’s any improvement him off of the Derby run?


10 – CROSLEY HOTSHOT – D Lane (10)

Closed steadily two runs back at Warwick Farm to finish a neck second to Multifacets but then found the grade, as most expected he would, much too great when contesting the G1 Rosehill Guineas, finishing ninth. Hard to see how off of that run and his record to date, how he worries the leading contenders here.


11 – OH SO SPLENDIDO – C Reith (3)

Ran second to What’s The Story three starts back but unlike that winner, he hasn’t gone on with it – in fact his finished well done the track in both the NZ Derby and a fortnight ago in the Rosehill Guineas. Can’t make a case for him to break his maiden status in this race.


12 – ALFDEN – T Clark (2)

Country galloper who had won one of his nine starts before some reason, connections thought a tilt at the G2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m). He settled just behind the pace but struggled in the straight and finished eleventh and almost eight lengths from winner Old North. Won’t be winning here.


13 – JAMEKA – D Oliver (12)

Looking to join a very select group of fillies as a winner of the ATC Derby. She’s finished two lengths behind Tarzino in each of her past two starts, firstly in the Australian Guineas and then in last fortnight’s Rosehill Guineas. She chased gamely last start but just couldn’t reel in the boys – finishing third. She’ll have to be giving Tarzino a start here again jumping from gate 12 and whilst she might be able to reel in most – even all of the others, think she’ll find Tarzino again, too good.



Clearly appears to be the dominant stayer of his generation does Tarzino who picks himself on top. Thought Vanbrugh might be the pick of the other to cause an upset.
No dramas with him the trip and the likelihood of a soft track, could make it a really tough journey. One that a dour type would enjoy. Tally and Jameka obviously include among numbers with the value runners being Torgesen, who was jumping from 2000m from 1500m last start and performed well, and NZ visitor What’ The Story, might be the value runners at $15.00.





* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!