Queensland Oaks favourite Arabian Gold is among the first acceptance for Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7.
At the first acceptance deadline this morning twenty-five three year olds remained in contention for the Blue Riband Classic for Saturday week’s contest.
While trained David Vandyke hasn’t ruled on a start for Arabian Gold in the Queensland Derby, he will no doubt want to see how his filly performs in the Group 1 $400,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Another filly who remains in contention is the Kiwi three year old Telepathic with Ruakaka trainer Donna Logan happy to bypass the Queensland Oaks this weekend to concentrate on the Derby.
Other fillies also among the Derby first acceptances are the Kris Lees trained Hera, Star Fashion from the David Hayes stable, Robert’s Smerdon’s Every Faith, Kiwi fillies Rock Diva and Sancerre, and the Toby Edmonds trained Granados.
The back in form Vilanova from the powerful Chris Waller stable shares the number one spot in the order of entry for the Queensland Derby with Amexed after winning last weekend’s Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben.
The hot and cold Vilanova produced his best form to score a stunning three and a half lengths win while the Tony Gollan trained Amexed struggled into fourth place after being send out the $3.20 favourite.
Amexed had put himself into Queensland Derby contention by winning his previous start, the Group 3 $125,000 Mittys Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben on May 10 and Gollan is hoping the bigger Eagle Farm track will suit Amexed better.
“I would have liked to see him finish off a bit better, but I’m not giving up on him. I think over the road on the bigger track with a bit of give it will suit him much better,” Gollan told The Sunday Mail.
Melbourne colt Pinstripe Lane and local three year old Rudy are still alive and the pair proved that there is not much between them after finishing second and third behind Vilanova at Doomben.
Trainer John Sargent is bringing improving three year old Elusive Runner to Brisbane for the Queensland Derby even though the Encosta De Lago gelding has only won a 1600m Goulburn maiden.
But Sargent has faith in Elusive Runner after two placings in restricted class at his last two outings at Rosehill and Randwick.
Tommy Berry has been booked to ride, replacing Jason Collett who was aboard Elusive Runner when a certainty beaten at his latest outing when second over 2000m at Randwick.
Collett settled Elusive Runner at the tale of the field before commencing his run coming to the home turn when he started to circle the field.
But all his momentum was lost half way down the straight when Collett dropped his near side rein and it took what seemed like an eternity before he could regather and drive the gelding to the line to finish half a length from the winner, Off The Rails.
Vilanova remains at the top of the Queensland Derby market order at $4.50 just ahead of Pinstripe Lane and Elusive Runner, both at $5.
Telepathic and Arabian Gold share the next line of betting at $8 with Amexed marked as a $11 chance.