The 2013 Victoria Derby (2500m) will have a capacity field at Flemington on Saturday; with sixteen runners plus two emergencies included in the final field for the $1.5 million Group 1 event.
The Darley operation will be well represented in the Victoria Derby, with Complacent, Tupac Amaru and San Diego all entered for the race, as trainer Peter Snowden aims to continue his dominance of the Group 1 three-year-old events during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, after winning the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) with Long John, the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) with Complacent and the Thousand Guineas (1600m) with Guelph.
Complacent won a maiden at Hawkesbury just over two months ago but has made rapid improvement and will head into the 2013 Victoria Derby as a firm favourite following his impressive wins in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) and Spring Champion Stakes.
The Spring Champion Stakes is set to be the key lead-up race for the Victoria Derby; with placegetters Criterion and Savvy Nature as well as Drago and Thunder Fantasy backing up from the race.
Criterion made a slow start to his three-year-old campaign, after impressing as a two-year-old, but has relished a step-up in distance; finishing second behind Eurozone in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) before flying in the final stages to finish only a length behind Complacent in the Spring Champion Stakes.
Savvy Nature franked the Spring Champion Stakes form when he came from the back of the field to win the Group 2 Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m) in dominant fashion at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
The Savabeel gelding finished behind Complacent in both of their previous meetings and trainer John O’Shea believes that his star three-year-old will need to draw a good barrier to be any chance of turning-the-table on the Authorized colt at Flemington on Saturday.
The form of Sydney three-year-olds has been superior to that of their Melbourne counterparts but Robbie Laing-trained Polanski is considered the best chance of the locally-trained hopefuls in the 2013 Victoria Derby.
The Rakti colt, which was purchased for just $4000, produced a strong staying effort to win the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on October 5 before chasing down San Diego in the final stages of the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 19.
Polanski will become the first horse since Amalfi in 2001 to complete the Norman Robinson Stakes/Victoria Derby if he is successful on Saturday; with San Diego, Epic Saga, Honey Steel’s Gold, Bring Something, Famechon, Surging Wave and emergency Cadillac Mountain also backing up from the Group 3 event.
Efficient in 2007 was the last Victoria Derby favourite to win the Group 1 event but Complacent looks well-placed to end the poor run of favourites.
2013 Victoria Derby Final Field
|1||CRITERIOIN||Craig Williams||David Payne||55.5kg|
|3||SAVVY NATURE||James McDonald||John O’Shea||55.5kg|
|4||POLANSKI||Hugh Bowman||Robbie Laing||55.5kg|
|5||DRAGO||Damien Oliver||Anthony Cummings||55.5kg|
|6||SAN DIEGO||TBA||Peter Snowden||55.5kg|
|7||HONEY STEEL’S GOLD||Luke Nolen||David Hayes||55.5kg|
|8||TIPS AND BEERS||Brett Prebble||David Hayes||55.5kg|
|9||EPIC SAGA||Chris Symons||Mathew Ellerton& Simon Zahra||55.5kg|
|10||TUPAC AMARU||TBA||Peter Snowden||55.5kg|
|11||PINSTRIPE LANE||Nash Rawiller||John Sadler||55.5kg|
|12||THROW THE KING||Thomas Sadler||John Sadler||55.5kg|
|13||THUNDER FANTASY||Peter Robl||Anthony Cummings||55.5kg|
|14||SURGING WAVE||Nicholas Hall||David Hayes||55.5kg|
|15||FAMECHON||Dwayne Dunn||Michael Moroney||55.5kg|
|16||BRING SOMETHING||Glen Boss||Ken Keys||55.5kg|
|17e||CADILLAC MOUNTAIN||Daniel Stackhouse||Peter G Moody||55.5kg|
|18e||EMPIRE ROCK||Daniel Moor||David Hayes||55.5kg|
Will Darley continue their dominance or can an outsider cause yet another boil over in the Victoria Derby this weekend?