The 2017 Queensland Derby Form Guide is a must read for novice punters and racing fans ahead of the Group 1 race at Doomben in Brisbane on Saturday afternoon.
Some of the winter’s best three-year-old stayers have been confirmed in the 2017 Queensland Derby field and we have analysed every horse in detail, to help you find the Queensland Derby winner.
Ruthven is set to start a firm favourite in 2017 Queensland Derby betting markets, but will face a big task in the form of Volatile Mix, Ana Royale and Shocking Luck.
Group 1 winner Volatile Mix is in outstanding form and should prove extremely tough to beat in the Queensland Derby. Steadily building to the task this time, the Pentire gelding placed fourth in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2030m) on April 29th before flying home to win the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) a fortnight ago. Having arrived in Brisbane for a close second in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) a fortnight ago, the horse would have undoubtedly been more suited to the 2400m course at Eagle Farm, but is primed for another big performance on Saturday and should be right in the finish of the race.
Consistent stayer Ruthven is drawn to get a good run in transit from barrier nine and has the notable advantage of Hugh Bowman in the saddle for the Queensland Derby. Fourth in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) during The Championships, the Domesday colt progressed to a smart second in the Vobis Gold Heath (2000m), before again finishing second in the South Australian Derby last time out. The horse should line up for this race nice and fresh and he has shown no issue in stepping back in distance previously.
Black On Gold
Black On Gold has produced a number of smart performances and results this time, but failed to fire in the Grand Prix Stakes last time out and faces a far-greater test in the Queensland Derby. The Sebring gelding worked through the grades well in his early starts this time and won the Sydney Markets Foundation BM78 (1800m) in his final start prior to the Grand Prix Stakes. Tommy Berry will take the ride from the somewhat awkward barrier 14.
An early favourite for the Queensland Derby, Mongolian Wolf is more than up to this class and is a live chance of winning, should he bring his best form. Beginning his career under the guidance of Murray Baker in New Zealand, Mongolian Wolf finished third behind Gingernuts in the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) most notably on February 18th. Transferred to the care of Darren Weir, the Pluck gelding stormed home to win the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) in his first Australian start, but went amiss when eleventh in the Noel Rundle Handicap (2000m) at Caulfield last time out on May 13th. Drawn ideally in barrier 4, the horse will be partnered by in-form hoop Damian Lane.
Strong and consistent performer Violate is yet to return to winning form this time, but appears as though he is set to peak in the Queensland Derby and is not without a chance. Second in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m) upon arriving in Brisbane, the Sebring colt placed fourth in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) on May 13th before running on well for third in the Grand Prix Stakes last time out. Drawn ideally with positive hoop Noel Callow in the saddle, Violate represents terrific value as an each-way chance in Queensland Derby betting markets.
Kiwi raider Shocking Luck has more than made his presence felt since arriving in Australia and should relish the conditions at Doomben on Saturday. Luckless in an Ipswich minor over 1500m upon crossing the ditch, the Shocking gelding stormed home to win the Rough Habit Plate, before a credible performance for sixth in the Grand Prix Stakes last time out. The horse will have to be quick away if he is not to get lost from the rails draw, but will be partnered by Opie Bosson and should be right in the finish of the Queensland Derby.
Victorian Fontein Lad completed an ideal lead-in to the Queensland Derby with a strong hit-out and win in and Ipswich minor over 2200m last week and is primed for another strong performance on Saturday. While undoubtedly facing the toughest test of his career so far, the Turffontein gelding has more than warranted a position in the Queensland Derby field and placed second amongst strong company in both the Superior Food Services BM64 (2200m) and Noel Rundle Handicap before arriving north of the border.
It is tough to see where Sizzling Bullet will settle in this field, particularly from a wide draw, but in his best form he is competitive. Ninth in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 18th, the Snitzel colt ran second to Oklahoma Girl in a Randwick minor over a mile in late April, before working to the line well for fifth in the EML BM78 (2000m) on May 27th. Craig Williams takes the ride for the first time in the Queensland Derby.
Monasterio is yet to contest a race at 2200m or in Brisbane, but his breeding suggests that he will only improve at the distance and he is worth consideration as an each-way chance. The Savabeel gelding disappointed as a $1.90 favourite at Kembla Grange on May 13th, but responded with a dominant win in the Eml BM78 (2000m) at Randwick a fortnight ago and should find a handy position just behind the pace from a central draw in the Queensland Derby.
Another entrant for leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller in the Queensland Derby field, Wu Gok has steadily built into this race, but is yet to be tested at the class and is probably deserving of his long odds quote as a result. Posting consecutive wins in a pair of NSW minors through February and March, the Sebring gelding placed fifth in the TAB BM72 (1900m) on April 26th before hitting the line well for third in the Kia Ora Stud BM78 (2200m) at Scone last time out.
Here He Comes
Here He Comes savaged the line for fourth in the Grand Prix Stakes last time out and should carry plenty of improvement into the Queensland Derby. Capping a smart autumn preparation in his native New Zealand a credible seventh in the talent-stacked Group 2 Valachi Downs Championship Stakes (2100m), the son of Bullbars ran sixth in the Rough Habit Plate in his only other start prior to the Grand Prix Stakes. He does appear to be a touch of overs at current odds and should finish off the race well from a central draw.
Rockstar Rebel will take his place amongst black type company for the first time in 2017 on Saturday, but has posted a number of excellent results and could be right in the finish of the Queensland Derby. Fourth in the Vobis Gold Heath, the Rebel Raider colt ran second in the Isuzu BM64 (2200m) on May 5th before returning to winning form in the OTI BM70 (2200m) last time out.
Garbhan has produced some good results between lacklustre performances this time and probably faces too great a task in winning the Queensland Derby on Saturday. Fourth in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) most notably, the Casino Prince gelding has failed to produce much in his two most-recent starts.
Shine Tak Star
Sydney raider Shine Tak Star is more than capable on his day and should carry improvement into the Queensland Derby. Finishing towards the tail of the field in the Australian Derby, the High Chaparral gelding returned from a few weeks between races for sixth in Kembla Grange race over 1400m, before arriving in Queensland to win the Mitek Australia Handicap (1800m) on May 14th. Last seen finishing sixth behind Fontein Lad at Ipswich, Shine Tak Star has drawn ideally into the Queensland Derby field and will be partnered by Robbie Fradd.
Dazzle Em Sid
Toowoomba stayer Dazzle Em Sid has been in work for a long time and is probably another runner who simply faces too great a task in the Queensland Derby. A smart winner of the Novotel Brisbane Airport Handicap (2237m) at Eagle Farm on May 3rd, the Sidereus gelding failed to beat a runner home in the Rough Habit Plate, but ran on for fifth in the Grand Prix Stakes last time out.
The sole filly in the Queensland Derby field, Ana Royale has produced some outstanding performances and results this season and is a live chance of winning Saturday’s Group 1. Storming home to finish third in the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2010m) on May 6th, the Anacheeva filly returned to winning form in the Group 3 SA Fillies’ Classic (2500m) on May 20th before placing mid-pack in last weekend’s Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m). Having settled too far off the pace in her most recent run, jockey Mark Zahra is likely to look for a position slightly closer to the pace from a inside draw.
Canberra-based stayer Shadow Vision has failed to fire in his two most-recent starts and is the first emergency in the Queensland Derby field. Winner of a Wagga minor over a mile on May 4th, the Dane Shadow gelding has since finished tenth in both the Rough Habit Plate and Grand Prix Stakes.
Mandalay Bay has not done enough this season to make the Queensland Derby field and probably won’t win the race, should he gain a start. Fourth in the Ladbrokes Info Hub BM70 (1600m) and Eml BM78, the Casino Prince gelding is drawn extremely wide in barrier 21.
The Barracuda has won just one of his eight career starts and will be lucky to get a start in the Queensland Derby as third emergency. The horse finished second behind Fontein Lad at Ipswich last week and will jump from a sticky draw, should he gain a start.
Wake Up Victa
Wake Up Victa ran third in the Fontein Lad race at Ipswich and has only been competitive at best in non-black type races this season. He is justifying of his long Queensland Derby odds and probably won’t gain a start.