Three year olds trained on the mainland dominate the field for the Listed $100,000 Schweppes Tasmanian Derby (2200m) at Hobart on Friday.
The Tulloch Lodge trained Northwest Passage is one of six runners from the nine horse field to be trained outside of Tasmania but had his final lead up to the Tasmanian Derby with a win in the Listed $100,000 Kevin Sharkie Hobart Guineas (2100m) at Hobart on January 22.
Prepared by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Northwest Passage will head to the Derby as the horse to beat after registering a seven and half lengths win over Life On The Wire with Friday’s rival Trusted Warrior a close up third.
The lightly raced Northwest Passage is the winner of three of his four race starts and his only defeat was two starts back when third in an 1800m BenchMark 67 Handicap at Randwick on January 2.
Northwest Passage has drawn barrier five in the nine horse field with Sydney based jockey Adam Hyeronimus retaining the ride after being associated with the So You Think gelding for his last three starts.
Locally trained Trusted Warrior has drawn the rails with Brendon McCoull taking over the reins from Sigrid Carr.
Melbourne’s premiership winning trainer Darren Weir is hoping to go one better in this year’s Tasmanian Derby with Igitur after Howard Be Thy Name ran second in the 2016 running with Brad Rawiller in the saddle.
Rawiller has also returned to ride Igitur who has won one race from eleven starts when he scored his initial win with a victory in a 2100m Maiden at Echuca on December 19 three starts back and is coming off a last start eighth in a 2040m BenchMark 78 Handicap on January 21.
Igitur has drawn barrier eight while the Mick Price trained Shadow Prince has drawn the outside gate with Noel Callow to ride.
Patrick Payne will send Matamanoa to Hobart with Luke Currie to ride from barrier three, Danny O’Brien will saddle up French Snitzel (barrier seven) with Daniel Moor in the saddle and Mark Webb has Autmed jumping from gate six with Daniel Ganderton to ride.
Local three year olds Tough Vic (barrier 2) and Biscay Barb (barrier 4) make up the rest of the Tasmanian Derby field.