A full field of eighteen three year olds will line up in the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday, the first day of ‘The Championship’.
The David Payne trained Criterion will carry the number one saddle cloth after scoring a runaway win in the Group 1 $500,000 TAB.com.au Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 29 with Hugh Bowman to ride again.
Rosehill Guineas second, third and fourth placegetters Thunder Fantasy, Teronado and Savvy Nature will all be lining up again to take on Criterion over the 2400m.
The Anthony Cummings trained Thunder Fantasy beat Criterion home when the colts finished third and fourth behind Polanski and Complacent in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington in the Spring but Payne says that Criterion is a much more mature three year old now.
“He is just becoming mature and he was ridden properly today,” Payne said after his Rosehill Guineas win.
“You have to leave him alone, he is a horse that you can’t bustle.”
Matamata trainer Peter McKay is hoping that a change of jockey will help turn around the dismal performance of Puccini who was beaten twelve lengths as the $4.20 equal favourite in the Rosehill Guineas.
Craig Williams replaces Michael Walker who was a victim of circumstances and had to let Puccini slide up to the lead after his saddle slipped forward in the early stages of the race and the Encosta De Lago colt wasn’t very comfortable on the wet track as well.
Trainer Peter Snowden is happy with the way that Gallatin has pulled up after winning the Group 2 $175,000 Nathan Berry Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill last Saturday and has decided to let him take his place in the Australian Derby field.
The prospect of a another wet track on Saturday at Randwick has prompted Snowden to back the Street Cry gelding up this week as along as he continued to do well for the rest of the week.
“That’s going to be the barometer for me; how he eats and he goes through the week” Snowden told TVN following the Tulloch Stakes win.
“It poured at Randwick earlier today (Sunday) so it looks like it is going to be a wet track and that won’t hurt this bloke.
“He got through it like it was nothing.
“With the prospect of another wet, you would have to give it serious consideration.”
Anthony Cummings will also saddle up Surge Ahead who finished seventh in the Rosehill Guineas and Best Case who is also backing up after running third to Gallatin in the Tulloch Stakes.
Melbourne’s premiership winning trainer Peter Moody will have multiple runners with Crime Fighter, a winner at his last two starts at Moonee Valley over 1600m and 2040m and Cadillac Mountain who was beaten eight lengths when eighth to Criterion in the Rosehill Guineas.
2014 Australian Derby Field
|o||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||00224×4281||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne||Hugh Bowman||0||56.5kg||100|
|2||3514141110||PUCCINI (NZ)||Peter & Jacob McKay||Craig Williams||0||56.5kg||105|
|3||11593×1382||THUNDER FANTASY||Anthony Cummings||Damien Oliver||0||56.5kg||99|
|4||312310×374||SAVVY NATURE (NZ)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||0||56.5kg||96|
|5||4125×35543||TERONADO||Bruce W Hill||Craig Newitt||0||56.5kg||77|
|6||1x2131x700||KOROIBETE||Gerald Ryan||Damian Browne||0||56.5kg||81|
|7||1151×7637||SURGE AHEAD||Anthony Cummings||Zac Purton||0||56.5kg||78|
|8||3x513x6351||GALLATIN||Peter Snowden||Nash Rawiller||0||56.5kg||70|
|9||x4444x5855||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||0||56.5kg||77|
|10||124144×153||BEST CASE (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Christian Reith||0||56.5kg||73|
|11||5x0170x611||CRIME FIGHTER||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||0||56.5kg||73|
|12||x21925x309||TUPAC AMARU||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||0||56.5kg||70|
|13||2868×61012||SINGING FLAME||Kevin Moses||Tim Clark||0||56.5kg||63|
|14||2419×128||CADILLAC MOUNTAIN||Peter G Moody||Chad Schofield||0||56.5kg||–|
|15||66×5100212||SOLO SAGA||Bevan Laming||Jim Cassidy||0||56.5kg||–|
|16||3310×31434||MOUNTAIN VIEW (NZ)||John Sargent||Joao Moreira||0||56.5kg||68|
|17||x14579x961||SURGING WAVE||David Hayes||Michael Rodd||0||56.5kg||–|
|18||870×003305||HERESDECASINO||Neville & Christopher Voigt||–||0||56.5kg||52|