Ratings expert Daniel O’Sullivan has Werther on top of his 2015 Queensland Derby tips and he believes that the Eagle Farm Cup winner will prove very difficult to beat in the Group 1 event at Doomben tomorrow.
Werther stamped himself as a horse to watch when he won the Group 2 Championship Stakes (2100m) in New Zealand in April before he made his Australian racing debut with a second place finish in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) and stamped himself as a the standout favourite for the Queensland Derby with an impressive victory in the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup last weekend.
O’Sullivan told TAB Radio this morning that Werther was clearly the class horse in the Queensland Derby field and he said that he is happy to back the promising stayer at his current Queensland Derby odds of $2.35.
“He definitely does,” O’Sullivan said when asked if Werther deserved to be a dominant Queensland Derby favourite.
“His last two performances in the South Australian Derby and then last start beating the older horses mean that his two performance ratings out of those two runs are comfortably above the career peak of any other horse in the field.
“There is absolutely no doubt that on exposed form he is the best horse in the race by a comfortable margin and he is certainly justified to be a clear-cut favourite in this race.
“Barrier one is quite tricky for him and there is not a huge amount of speed in the race, so I would expect they want to be fairly positive early to push through and take up the option to allow some of those wider runners to come across and end up in front.”
Werther will be having his second race start in as many weeks in the Queensland Derby, but jockey Jim Byrne is confident that the three-year-old will have no problems handling the quick back-up this weekend.
Byrne said that he did not get to the bottom of Werther in the Eagle Farm Cup and he is confident that the Kiwi would prove very tough to beat in the Queensland Derby tomorrow.
“He jumped out and cruised along for two thirds of the race and the only work he had to do was from the 700 to home – it was just like a track gallop,” Byrne said.
“I knew my bloke had fresh legs and he looked good in the yard before the race.
“He’s a very, very smart animal and it really panned out well.
We thought there might have been a bit of trouble with no real tempo and I would have been happy to take up the lead or sit outside.”
Werther is currently available at 2015 Queensland Derby odds of $2.30 with Ladbrokes and is a clear favourite from Upham ($8) and Sadler’s Lake ($8).