Quick Strike is rated one of the outsiders in the 2015 Australian Derby field, but trainer Chris Waller believes that the progressive galloper is a genuine winning chance in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Quick Strike started his autumn preparation with a solid third in the Café Culture Handicap (1250m) at Canterbury on February 6 and he produced a pair of credible efforts in the Alan Montgomery Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 18 and the Place Multi Handicap (1600m) at the same venue on March 11 before he hit the line strongly to finish fourth behind Hauraki in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28.
Waller believes that Quick Strike has a similar profile to the one that Preferment had heading into the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and the leading Sydney trainer told Racing Ahead that the High Chaparral gelding is capable of scoring an upset win and could be a value selection at his current Australian Derby odds of $14.
“With the Derby it is a bit like a Melbourne Cup – you forget their form and what horses that stay will fill the placings,” Waller said.
“He looks like he will stay, he has had the right preparation and he has that extravagant stayers action.
“He is just like Preferment before that Derby in the spring and if he gets 2400 metres he is a great chance.
“Being by High Chaparral you would expect him to stay and let’s hope that he is one that we are talking about on Sunday.”
Quick Strike opened at a quote of $15 when the 2015 Australian Derby final field was released earlier in the week and the three-year-old quickly drifted out to $16, but there has been a sprinkling of support for the gelding in the past 24 hours and he is back into a quote of $14 to record a maiden win at Group level.
Waller’s other runner Preferment remains on top of the Australian Derby betting market at Ladbrokes at a quote of $3.40, while the money continues for Tulloch Stakes winner Hauraki who has been backed from $3.90 into $3.50.
Waller is chasing his first win in the Australian Derby after previously missing the placings with Hoylonny (10th in 2012), King Gladiator (5th in 2011), Gigino (last in 2009) and Prince De Galles (6th in 2008).