Favourite Howard Be Thy Name has drawn perfectly at barrier two for the Group 1 $600,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The Darren Weir trained Howard Be Thy Name is chasing a second Derby trophy after he was successful in winning the Group 1 $500,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 14 two starts back.
The Redoute’s Choice three year old lost no admirers when a last start third behind Mackintosh and Eagle Way in the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben on May 28 and has held his spot at the top of the Queensland Derby market order at $4.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Leading Victorian jockey Brad Rawiller has ridden Howard Be Thy Name in five of his twelve starts, including three wins, and will be back in the saddle again in the Queensland Derby.
Rawiller is happy with barrier two and can envisage Howard Be Thy Name getting a good run throughout the race.
“Howard Be Thy Name, he has drawn two, he will get a good run,” Rwailler said.
“He is in great order and I can’t wait to be riding him.”
Equal second favourite Mackintosh ($4.80) is undefeated from his last three starts, his last two during the Brisbane Winter Carnival in the Group 3 $125,000 Mitty’s Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben on May 14 and in the Grand Prix Stakes two weeks later.
The Chris Waller trained Mackintosh has drawn nicely at barrier five and regular rider Blake Shin is certain to take up a prominent position again on the Pins three year old.
Local hope Eagle Way, who is sharing the second line of betting with Mackintosh, has drawn just worse than midfield at barrier eleven and has the services of globetrotting jockey Tommy Berry.
Berry has just returned from a successful two months riding stint in Japan and will be keen to ride another Group 1 win on Australian soil.
Gold Coast trainer Bryan Guy is excited about having a live chance in the Queensland Derby and said that Eagle Way is in fine order heading into Saturday’s three year old classic.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve had a horse with a live chance in a Group 1 and I’m really looking forward to it,” Guy told The Gold Coast Bulletin.
“The horse is going terrific and I’m very happy with him.”
“When they walked in the Grand Prix I thought he would finish off and run fourth or fifth but the last 100 yards he really put in and found the line.”
Waller will have four runners in the Queensland Derby and as well as Mackintosh will saddle up Encosta Line (barrier 8), Rodrico (barrier 13) and Multifacets (barrier 9).
Queensland Derby market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.50 Howard Be Thy Name, $4.80 Mackintosh, Eagle Way, $8 Eschiele, $9.50 Etymology, $10 Encosta Line, $17 I’m Belucci, $21 Cylinder Beach, $26 Brazen, $31 Rodrico, $34 Multifacets, $51 Red Alto, Admiral Jello, Colonel Custer, $67 Harvard, $81 Snapper, $91 Maven Wiz, $101 Star Zone, $201 Slaughter Bay.