Fifty-two three-year-olds remain in the hunt for one of the Autumn Carnival’s most sought-after prizes following the release of 2017 Australian Derby first acceptances.
Prized Icon, Sacred Elixir and Inference led home a smart field in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) in spring and all three horses have been included in 2017 Australian Derby first acceptances.
Prized Icon has been the stable star for James Cummings through recent seasons and has returned to typically excellent form this time in.
Breaking through for a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at the conclusion of last spring, the More Than Ready colt took a few runs to find form in spring, but hit the line well for third behind Yankee Rose in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
Luckless in transit when fifth in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m), Prized Icon was considered an outsider in the Victoria Derby, but never appeared in doubt; finding the line close to three lengths ahead of Sacred Elixir.
Prized Icon ran on to finish sixth in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) first-up and was last seen finishing second behind Hey Doc in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
Sacred Elixir has returned to the races fairly this year, but is sure to relish a return to Australia and the conditions of the Australian Derby.
Easily winning the Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm in June, Sacred Elixir stamped himself as one to watch in spring when he stormed home to win the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) first-up on September 24th.
Finishing midfield in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m), the Pour Moi gelding returned to winning form in the Moonee Valley Vase, in what was his only other start prior to the Victoria Derby.
Resuming in his native New Zealand for fourth in the Listed Karaka 3YO Mile (1600m), Sacred Elixir failed to fire when seventh in the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m), but performed well for fifth in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie over the weekend.
Inference has already found winning form at the highest level this season and will only relish a step up to a mile and a half for the 2017 Australian Derby.
Placing third in each of the Group 3 Ladbrokes Classic (2000m) and Victoria Derby most notably in spring, the So You Think colt resumed for a credible fifth in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) on February 18th, before savaging the line to win the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) over the weekend.
A number of standout New Zealand runners have also been confirmed in Australian Derby first acceptances, including Jon Snow.
Jon Snow has been one of New Zealand’s most consistent three-year-olds this season and has finished third in each of the Group 2 Great Northern Guineas (1600m), Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m), Karaka 3YO Mile and the New Zealand Derby most notably.
Inference currently occupies the top line of 2017 Australian Derby betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, at a $5.50 quote.
2017 Australian Derby First Acceptances
|#||Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp Rating|
|1||06×310||A TOUCH OF LUCK||G||3||Amanda Turner & Mauro Poletti||56|
|2||13x1135x78||ACATOUR||C||3||Peter & Paul Snowden||76|
|3||43451×4||ADATTO (NZ)||G||3||Michael Freedman||66|
|4||323211×35||ANAHEIM||C||3||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||75|
|6||63×551||BIG JOHN CANNON||C||3||Jim Conlan||–|
|7||x837x52223||CAPTAIN RHETT||G||3||Pat Carey||–|
|8||2131×7||CEYLON (NZ)||F||3||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||–|
|9||2212x||CHARLES ROAD||G||3||Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott||–|
|10||121×533||COMIN’ THROUGH||C||3||Chris Waller||90|
|11||2217645||ELECTRIC CHARLIE||G||3||John & Chris Ledger||–|
|12||3x23516x||EXCALIBUR (NZ)||C||3||Shaune Ritchie||–|
|13||4×14111||FARSON||G||3||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||85|
|14||59×3||FENCOURT (NZ)||C||3||James Cummings||–|
|15||221×1||FOX HALL||C||3||Tony McEvoy||–|
|17||x611562x34||HARLOW GOLD (NZ)||F||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||94|
|18||226×312126||HARPER’S CHOICE||C||3||Gerald Ryan||70|
|19||53153×71||HESSDALEN (NZ)||C||3||Michael Freedman||68|
|20||x5353226x5||HOLLYWOOD MO||C||3||Paul Perry||67|
|22||1x11433x51||INFERENCE||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||100|
|24||61x289333x||JON SNOW (NZ)||C||3||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||–|
|25||14x3111x1||LA BELLA DIOSA (NZ)||F||3||Mandy & Matt Brown||92|
|26||51429×338||LAND OF PLENTY||C||3||Grahame Begg||72|
|27||6538241×02||LASQUETI SPIRIT||F||3||Lee Curtis||104|
|28||123×115||MAN FROM UNCLE||G||3||Anthony & Edward Cummings||86|
|30||5431||MY KIND||G||3||John P Thompson||66|
|31||9623||NOBLE TRUTH||C||3||Anthony & Edward Cummings||55|
|32||2100x||POSITIVE CARRY (NZ)||C||3||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||–|
|33||9x221x4||POTENT FORCE||G||3||James Cummings||66|
|34||x463351x62||PRIZED ICON||C||3||James Cummings||107|
|35||312×7||RIGHTEOUS MATE (NZ)||G||3||Mark Newnham||68|
|36||84212221||RISING RED (NZ)||G||3||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||–|
|37||10×3||ROCK AND SWING||C||3||James Cummings||67|
|39||x161x1812x||SACRED ELIXIR (NZ)||G||3||Tony Pike||–|
|40||x454282x06||SEABURGE||C||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||103|
|41||095416×506||SHINE TAK STAR||G||3||John Sargent||59|
|42||3621||SHOCK ALERT (NZ)||G||3||Bjorn Baker||64|
|43||91×311||SIZZLING BULLET||C||3||Chris Waller||75|
|44||6×114173||SNITZSON||C||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||74|
|45||x165344x40||SO SI BON||C||3||Robbie Laing||78|
|46||21||TAMARACK (NZ)||G||3||Joseph Pride||64|
|48||3×1454||TEMPERS FLARE||G||3||Gabrielle Englebrecht||57|
|50||6×7||TURKONIC (NZ)||G||3||Robert & Luke Price||46|
|52||x375150x35||WINE BUSH||G||3||Chris Waller||70|