Sacred Elixir is on top of the 2016 Victoria Derby tips of Deane Lester, but the form analyst believes that Swear is the value runner in the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.
Swear started his 2016 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a victory in the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 3 and he was unlucky in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 24 before she was only narrowly denied a maiden win at Group 1 level in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 8.
Lester told RSN that he has been delighted with the way that Swear has progressed this preparation and he believes that the Redoute’s Choice colt is great value at his 2016 Victoria Derby odds of $8 with Ladbrokes.
“I think that the horse that will peak on the day is Swear,” Lester said.
“I love the way that Team Hawks has built him up steadily this time in.
“He has had three runs this time in and he hasn’t been overtaxed.
“We know that if they are not happy with any horse the put them in the paddock, so this horse has obviously come through their regime well.
“I think that he is a great winning chance and great each-way value.”
Sacred Elixir remains on top of Victoria Derby betting markets at a quote of $2.90 and he has been easily the best-backed runner.
Sacred Elixir started his spring campaign with a win in the Group 3 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on September 24 and he failed to fire in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) before he returned to winning form in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) on Cox Plate Day.
Lester believes that Sacred Elixir is deserving of his place as Victoria Derby favourite due to his Victoria Derby lead-up form and he believes that the inside barrier draw is a big advantage for the Pour Moi gelding.
“Sacred Elixir has obviously got to be right there,” Lester said.
“Barrier draws can be overrated and overplayed in some races, but not in the Derby because of the short run to the first turn.
“Because of how he can race he can use that draw and he is a deserved favourite.”
Sacred Elixir is currently available at 2016 Victoria Derby odds of $2.90 with Ladbrokes and he is a clear favourite from Swear ($8), So Si Bon ($9), Inference ($15), Prized Icon ($16), Rocketeer ($17), Morvada ($18) and Captain Duffy ($18).