The Group 2 $400,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday will be the starting point for Etymology’s Australian Derby campaign.
Etymology showed his staying ability over the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival with a solid 2 lengths second to Tarzino in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington.
Trainer John O’Shea will be looking to see the New Approach three year old doing his best work at the end of the 1400m and expects him to improve as the distances get longer deeper into the Autumn, concluding with the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 2, the first day of ‘The Championships’.
“He’s got a long campaign ahead of him after showing a lot of promise in the spring in Melbourne,” O’Shea said on godolphin.com
“He has some residual fitness from the spring but the 1400m on Saturday is short of his best, so we’ll just be looking for him to finish off well.”
Kathy O’Hara takes the mount on Etymology who will jump from barrier two in the thirteen horse field.
While Etymology has only recorded one win in a 1400m Pakenham Maiden from six race starts, his form over the Spring Carnival also saw him run third to Sacred Eye in the Group 3 $500,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic (2000m) at Caulfield on October 17.
O’Shea will also saddle up Shards and Tarquin in the Hobartville Stakes and both those three year olds could be joining Etymology on an Australian Derby path.
But if O’Shea thinks Shards is not a Derby prospect, he will consider switching him to the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 2 while an Australian Derby start for Tarquin will be decided after the Group 1 $600,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 19.
All three of the O’Shea trained colts are at long odds in the Hobartville Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au with Shards leading the trio at $15 ahead of Etymology and Tarquin at $41.
The Hobartville Stakes sees the return of Caulfield Guineas winner Press Statement who is at the top of the betting at $2.60, a clear favourite in front of the Gerald Ryan trained Spill The Beans at $5.50.
Hobartville Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.60 Press Statement, $5.50 Spill The Beans, $8.50 Vanbrugh, $9 Wolf Cry, Montaigne, $11 Dal Cielo, $15 Shards, $16 Le Romain, $21 Too Good To Refuse, $41 Etymology, Tarquin, $51 Torgersen,$61 Balmain Boy.
In early Australian Derby betting, Etymology is marked at $11 behind Victoria Derby winner Tarzino at $4.40 and Hobartville Stakes rival Vanbrugh at $10.