Last start winner Krusty can keep his connection’s hopes alive for a $100,000 bonus if he can win Saturday’s $135,000 Ladbrokes NT Derby (2000m) at the Darwin Turf Club’s Fannie Bay race course.
Krusty won the $70,000 Hot 100 Darwin Guineas (1600m) at Fannie Bay on July 8 and if he can win the NT Derby will be eligible for the Ladbrokes Triple Crown Bonus that is on offer if he can go on and win the $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) at Fannie Bay on August 7.
Trainer Stephen Brown was happy to see Krusty strike form at the right time and was also very excited about his flashing winning effort in the Darwin Guineas.
“He came from nowhere to win the Guineas — his last 20m was unbelievable,” Brown told the NT News.
Brown can’t see the Sebring three year old having any trouble running the extra 400m in the Ladbrokes NT Derby which will put him right into Darwin Cup calculations.
“If Krusty wins the Derby, I don’t see why he can’t win the Cup — on paper I don’t think the competition is as strong as past years,” Brown said.
Darwin Guineas winning jockey Paul Denton has retained the mount in the Ladbrokes NT Derby on Krusty who has drawn barrier four in the eight horse field.
Krusty will be facing similar opposition in the NT Derby as he beat in the Darwin Guineas with the second third and fourth placegetters, So Poysed, Inwood and Billet Doux, all lining up again in Saturday’s 2000m contest.
Jockey Jason Lyon sticks with So Poysed from barrier two, Inwood has drawn the rails with Felicia Bergstrand in the saddle again and Billet Doux will jump from gate six with Paul Shiers in board.
Inwood has former Melbourne’s leading trained Peter Moody’s wife Sarah among the ownership and the Smart Missile gelding will carry the prominent Moody family colours of white, blue striped sleeves and striped cap.
Krusty has been installed the $2.90 favourite for the Ladbrokes NT Derby at Ladbrokes.com.au but is being pressured by Billet Doux who is on the second line of betting at $3.40 ahead of So Poysed at $4.20 and Inwood at $5.