The David Payne trained Criterion remains the clear cut favourite for the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby(2400m) at Randwick on Saturday after coming up with the inside gate at tonight’s barrier draw.
The in-form Hugh Bowman stuck to the inside on Criterion when he beat Thunder Fantasy in the Group 1 $500,000 TAB.com.au Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 29 and he might have to repeat those tactics on Saturday.
Payne said that Criterion had finally matured into a strong three year old after he won the Rosehill Guineas and the extra distance of the Australian Derby won’t be a problem.
“He is just becoming mature,” Payne said after his Rosehill Guineas win.
“You have to leave him alone, he is a horse that you can’t bustle.”
“He was ridden upside down the other day, he over raced. He will be winning the Derby hopefully.”
The Anthony Cummings trained Thunder Fantasy wasn’t treated too badly and came up with barrier eight with Damien Oliver sticking with the Lucky Owners colt.
Matamata trainer Peter McKay is hoping for dry track for New Zealand Derby winner Puccini who will jump from gate 11 with Craig Williams taking over from Michael Walker.
Puccini was sent out the equal favourite for the Rosehill Guineas but lost all chance when his saddle slipped forward in the early stages and ended up sharing the lead with Shamus Award and faded to finish twelfth to Criterion.
Teronado from the Bruce Hill’s Gold Coast stable has been racing consistently during the Autumn Carnival and will get every chance from barrier ten.
Criag Newitt will be aboard the Testa Rossa three year old again after partnering him at his last four starts including his last start third to Criterion in the Rosehill Guineas.
Peter Moody will saddle up two runners in the Australian Derby with the Crime Fighter (Luke Nolen) drawing well at barrier five while Cadillac Mountain (Chad Schofield) didn’t fair so well and will jump from gate sixteen in the eighteen horse field.
Golden Slipper winning jockey James McDonald will be sticking with the John O’Shea trained Savvy Nature who will jump from gate twelve.
Ladbrokes.com.au have Criterion marked as the $3.60 favourite for the Australian Derby ahead of Puccini and Thunder Fantasy at $7.50, Teronado at $10 and Savvy Nature at $12.
2014 Australian Derby Field And Barrier Draw
|#||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||00224×4281||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne||Hugh Bowman||1||56.5kg||100|
|2||3514141110||PUCCINI (NZ)||Peter & Jacob McKay||Craig Williams||11||56.5kg||105|
|3||11593×1382||THUNDER FANTASY||Anthony Cummings||Damien Oliver||8||56.5kg||99|
|4||312310×374||SAVVY NATURE (NZ)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||12||56.5kg||96|
|5||4125×35543||TERONADO||Bruce W Hill||Craig Newitt||10||56.5kg||77|
|6||1x2131x700||KOROIBETE||Gerald Ryan||Damian Browne||6||56.5kg||81|
|7||1151×7637||SURGE AHEAD||Anthony Cummings||Zac Purton||15||56.5kg||78|
|8||3x513x6351||GALLATIN||Peter Snowden||Nash Rawiller||17||56.5kg||70|
|9||x4444x5855||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||3||56.5kg||77|
|10||124144×153||BEST CASE (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Christian Reith||13||56.5kg||73|
|11||5x0170x611||CRIME FIGHTER||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||5||56.5kg||73|
|12||x21925x309||TUPAC AMARU||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||4||56.5kg||70|
|13||2868×61012||SINGING FLAME||Kevin Moses||Tim Clark||2||56.5kg||63|
|14||2419×128||CADILLAC MOUNTAIN||Peter G Moody||Chad Schofield||16||56.5kg||–|
|15||66×5100212||SOLO SAGA||Bevan Laming||Jim Cassidy||14||56.5kg||–|
|16||3310×31434||MOUNTAIN VIEW (NZ)||John Sargent||Joao Moreira||18||56.5kg||68|
|17||x14579x961||SURGING WAVE||David Hayes||Michael Rodd||9||56.5kg||–|
|18||870×003305||HERESDECASINO||Neville & Christopher Voigt||–||7||56.5kg||52|