The Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday has attracted a full field of sixteen three year olds plus four emergencies.
The Tony Pike trained Kiwi three year old Sacred Elixir will carry the number one saddlecloth with Zac Purton back in the saddle replacing Damian Lane who steered the gelding to a decisive last start win in the Group 2 $200,000 LUCRF Super Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
But Hong Kong based Purton is no stranger to the Scared Elixir, having ridden him twice during his two year old season over the Brisbane Winter Carnival for a sixth in the Group 2 $250,000 Mitavite BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben followed by a win in the Group 1 $600,000 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm.
Randwick trainer James Cummings will only have one runner in the Victoria Derby with Priced Icon after opting to run last start Ladbrokes Classic winner Good Standing in the Group 1 $2m Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday week.
“We weighed it all up and I provided the owners as much feedback as possible, from his jockeys and riders, and Gooree are concerned he may be too brilliant for the Derby,” Cummings told racing.com.
“Once it was confirmed Winx wasn’t running, it makes the task realistic.
“I think it will be beneficial to expose him to older horses at this stage of his career and put him in good stead for his next preparation.”
Jockey Glyn Schofield will stick with Prized Icon after the pair combined to win the Group 1 $500,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Prized Icon has had three Spring Carnival runs with a last start fifth in the LUCRF Super Vase with Schofield on board.
Team Hawkes will saddle up two Victoria Derby runners in Swear and Inference with both colts coming off last start placings.
Swear with Tommy Berry riding again finished second to Yankee Rose in the Group 1 $500,000 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 8 while Inference has Dwayne Dunn in the saddle again after running third to Good Standing in the Group 3 $500,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic (2000m) at Caulfield on October 15.
Hong Kong’s leading jockey Joao Moreira takes the ride on the Chris Waller trained Wine Bush who has the winkers going on replacing the blinkers while Ben Melham rides stablemate Tumultuous.
Mark Zahra is booked to ride the Mick Price trained Rocketeer who has finished second at his last four starts and Cox Plate winning jockey Hugh Bowman takes over from apprentice Michael Dee on Robbie Laing’s So Si Bon.
Trainer John Sargent will be hoping for a scratching so first emergency Peter John can sneak into the field as will the trainers of the other three emergencies Anaheim, Shine Tak Star and Zoffman.
Sacred Elixir sits at the top of the Victoria Derby market order at $3.70 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of So Si Bon at $9.50 and Inference at $10.
Market order for thee Victoria Derby at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.70 Sacred Elixir, $9.50 So Si Bon, $10 Inference, $11 Swear, $13 Rocketeer, $14 Prized Icon, $16 Captain Duffy, $18 Beach Life, Morvada, $19 Tumultuous, $26 Kent, Highlad, Wine Bush, $31 Hollywood Mo, $34 Silvera, $51 All Out Of Love, Anaheim, $71 Zoffman, $126 Peter John, Shine Tak Star.