Extra Choice has drifted out to 2015 Victoria Derby odds of $12, but co-trainer David Hayes believes that the in-form stayer will be more than competitive if he receives luck in running in the $1.5 million race.
Extra Choice started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival with a win at Pakenham on August 7 and he won again at the same venue on September 8 before he was outclassed in both the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on September 26 and the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on October 4.
The Redoute’s Choice gelding went into the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) on October 21 as a $12 chance, but he produced a strong staying performance to stamp himself as a genuine Victoria Derby contender.
Extra Choice’s Victoria Derby chances took a hit when he was allocated the outside gate at the barrier draw on Wednesday afternoon, but Hayes remains confident that the three-year-old can be a factor in the final stages of the race.
“The horse is superb,” Hayes said.
“The track work and build-up I couldn’t ask for anything better.
“If Melham can ride him as well as he did at Geelong then I am very happy that he can be in the finish.”
The Lindsay Park team also included Bullish Stock in the Victoria Derby acceptances, but the Tavistock entire is currently first emergency and appears unlikely to earn a start in the Group 1 event.
Bullish Stock recorded his maiden race win at Benalla on October 13 and he was never able to get into the race when he finished sixth in the Geelong Classic, but Hayes believes that the three-year-old is capable of performing well if he gets an opportunity in the Victoria Derby.
“We hope he gets a run for the owners and it would be a big thrill,” Hayes said.
“His run in the Geelong Derby Trail was first class and he just didn’t have any luck.”
Hayes is chasing his third win in the Victoria Derby after previously taking out the race Blevic in 1994 and Kibbutz in 2007.
Tarzino is currently available at 2015 Victoria Derby odds of $2.50 with Ladbrokes and he is a clear favourite from Kia Ora Koutou ($7.50), Lizard Island ($10), Get The Picture ($11), Extra Choice ($12) and Pay Up Bro ($14).
You can score the best Victoria Derby odds with Ladbrokes, who are offering Best Tote or Starting Price +20% on every single race at Flemington on Saturday.