A full field will contest the Victorian Derby but punters have zeroed in on one only horse, Mick Price’s Tarzino. It was a big run by the son of Tavistock last weekend in The Vase against a prominent bias, and the effort has seen him dominate the market since, currently showing up as $2.30 chance. It hasn’t been a favourable race for favourites though in recent years with the last popular elect to salute, being Efficient in 2006. Since then, four double figure winners have been successful including a 100/1 shot (Rebel Raider) and a 40/1 winner Fiveandahalfstar. Between them, Hugh Bowman and Damian Oliver have won the past five Victorian Derbies and this year ride Shards ($13) and Get The Picture ($11) respectively.
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1.LIZARD ISLAND – B Shinn (3)
Backed up an excellent third to Press Statement in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas with another strong effort behind Sacred Eye in the Caulfield Class (2000m) last time out. The Pat Hyland trained galloper has found a lovely spot on the pace throughout in each of the above two races and will do so again her from gate three. Taken a couple of very good gallopers to get the better of him recently and he is sure to run well.
2. SHARDS – J Bowman (11)
Forget his run in the Caulfield Guineas where he drew wide, settled near last and didn’t make an impression in the run home, much better last week in the G2 The Vase when second to another smart filly in Jameka. Drew well and had the track playing in his favour last time out but drawn a little more awkwardly here. Godolphin’s leading rider James McDonald, who rode him last start, has elected to go with Ety-mology.
3. KIA ORA KOUTOU – J Azzopardi (1)
Some big wraps on this developing Western Australian galloper who is unbeaten after four starts, the most recent of which saw him easily account for older horses over 2200m at Belmont earlier this month. Has had a barrier trial since to keep him up to the mark and has a similar profile to another Western Australian galloper Plastered who won the 2004 Victorian Derby. Been kept safe in the markets.
4. AYERS ROCK – D Gauci (12)
Took up the running and fought on tenaciously to win the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) two runs back before again trying to lead all the way in the G3 Caulfield Classic, before struggling in the straight and finishing seventh (5.1 lengths) behind Sacred Eye and Lizard Island. Will take up the running here again and need to find the fence early from his wide gate before reaching the first turn. Needed to be finishing closer than he did last time to warrant consideration.
5. MAN OF CHOICE – S Clipperton (16)
He has finished third behind Vanbrugh in each of his last two outings, the G3 Gloaming Stakes and more recently, the G1 Spring Champion (2000m). He tracked up behind leaders last time out and got the split when required before holding on well enough as Vanbrugh and I’m Belucci swooped late. Honest efforts last couple but doubt there are good enough to see him win here, especially from the draw.
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6. EXTRA CHOICE – B Melham (17)
Didn’t show much in either the G3 Guineas Prelude (1400m) or Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) after winning a BM 64, but did appreciate the step back in grade last Wednesday to take out the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) – the race Preferment won last year prior to his Victorian Derby win. The distance will not pose a problem, he finished well last time out, but from gate seventeen, may be giving away too much of start to be able to reel in the better class of horse.
7. TARZINO – C Newitt (10)
Earned himself favouritism for this race with a great Derby trial last week in The Vase at Moonee Valley. Against a strong bias on the day, the Mick Price trained colt came from a long way back to finish third (1.8 lengths) behind Jameka – who enjoyed the perfect run throughout and has solid form through Sacred Eye. That followed a luckless seventh in the G1 Caulfield Guineas behind Press Statement. Settles midfield from gate ten and sure to look the winner at some stage in the final furlong.
8. GET THE PICTURE – D Oliver (5)
Jumped from his maiden win to the G2 Stutt Stakes and finished well to get within 3/4 of a length of Sovereign Nation before closing strongly again in the Caulfield Classic, finishing fourth behind Sacred Eye after being last and widest into the turn. Improving with each run is Excellent Art colt from Stuart Webb’s Caulfield yard and the Sacred Eye form-line is what you want to see heading into this race. Won’t have to do much from gate five in the run to the first turn and has to rate a legitimate chance.
9. ETYMOLOGY – J McDonald (9)
Got a long way back in the Listed UCI Stakes two starts ago, a race won by the leader Ayers Rock, and finished a respectable sixth (3.2 lengths), before getting to within 1.2 lengths of Sacred Eye in the Caulfield Classic when third. She settled three back on the fence last start and had to wait whist he worked his way out of that position and into clear room. Only win to date has been a maiden but his early price of $17.00, seems to be overs for mine given his last start effort.
10. JADEER – D Dunn (4)
Led but was no match late for Vanbrugh and company when sixth (3.2 lengths) in the G1 Spring Champion (2000m) before having every chance last week at Geelong in the Geelong Classic. The Hawkes Racing galloper settled in a perfect spot and did look the winner but was caught late by Extra Choice. Left with no excuses last time out and this is harder again.
11. PALACE TYCOON – D Stackhouse (7)
After threatening to at each of his previous three starts, the Peter Moody trained runner finally broke his maiden status two starts back with a comfortable win at Stawell over 2000m. He backed that up with Seymour win in a BM 64 (2200m) as the odds-on favourite over Mawby – the winner of two of his nineteen starts. Would appear to be aiming too high.
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12. SCADDEN’S RUN – J Cassidy (8)
Settled well back in both the Listed UCI Stakes and G3 Caulfield Guineas, making little impression from that position in early, before enjoying the drop in grade when contusing the BM 70 (2200m) at Sale, finishing third (1 lengths) to Maconsilla – a provincial galloper with four previous wins to his name. Would cause an upset if successful.
13. PAY UP BRO – B Avdulla (15)
Settled a long way back from his wide draw in the Listed UCI Stakes and despite being scrubbed up into the turn, kept coming in the run home to finish fourth (2.6 lengths) to Ayers Rock who had dominated the race from the lead position. The Husson gelding again came from well back when third (1.6 lengths) to Extra Choice in last week’s Geelong Classic. Looks as though the further they go the better he’ll like and on his last couple, could be given a place chance but likely to be giving them another big start.
14. COLONEL CLUSTER – C Williams (14)
Adelaide galloper from the Phillip Stokes yard who settled just worse than midfield and on the fence in last week’s Geelong Classic. The Savabeel colt had no luck at all trying to secure a run from that position early in the straight and suffered interference at a crucial stage before finishing ok late when in the clear. Stable have a great strike rate in Melbourne but this might be a stretch for them.
15. RED ALTO – O Bosson (2)
Still looking for a win seven runs into his career and not getting any closer his last couple of outings in Listed and Group races. Hard to make a genuine case for him, even to finish in the first half-dozen.
16. IRON BOSS – T Berry (6)
Held his ground to runs back in the run home when fifth (3 lengths) in the Listed UCI Stakes won by Ayers Rock but was never in the hunt from a wider draw at his next and most recent start, the G3 Caulfield Guineas, finishing second to last and close to seven lengths behind Sacred Eye. Drawn better here and will get a good run but will struggle to capitalise on it when the pressure is applied.
17. BULLISH STOCK – D Lane (13)
Won a Benalla RST 58 (1606m) in good style and was travelling well into the turn at his next start, the Geelong Classic. Soon after straightening however, the Hayes/Dabernig trained gelding was squeezed right up be-tween runners and all hopes were dashed. Improving type but this race may have come just a bit too quick for him.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Hard to go past the favourite after last weekend’s effort. Start prior to that was also very good and both races have exceptional form around them. He won’t get that far back from his gate this time and will be poised to strike at the top of the straight. Nothing wrong with Lizard Island’s form and he’ll get the dream run from gate three, ensuring he’ll be able to see out the 2500m trip. Really liked Get The Picture’s finishing effort in the Caulfield Classic last start and the colt is a solid improver. The WA galloper has to be respected in what he’s produced in four starts and Etymology as well on the last start effort behind Sacred Eye – the best form-line for 3yo’s currently.
2.GET THE PICTURE