Eagle Farm trainer Desleigh Forster is finding it hard to separate her two runners, Cylinder Beach and I’m Belucci, in the Group 1 $600,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Forster declared Cylinder Beach as the winner of the blue riband classic for the three year olds after the gelding won the Group 3 $125,000 ANTEC Gunsynd Classic (1630m) at Doomben three runs back, but his form has tapered off a bit since.
But at his next two starts, Cylinder Beach ran second to Mackintosh in the Group 3 $125,000 Mitty’s Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben followed by a ninth to the top Queensland Derby hope again in the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben a fortnight ago.
“I wasn’t disappointed with his last run. They all wanted to lead and Michael (Cahill) had to push him,” Forster told Racing Queensland News.
“It’ll be different in the Derby. He’ll be ridden quiet and will get back.”
I’m Belucci has come through the same lead up program s is stablemate for a thirteenth in the Gunsynd Classic, an eighth in the Rough Habit Plate and a sixth in the Grand Prix Stakes.
“He (I’m Belucci) was set for this race a long time ago knowing it would be at Eagle Farm,” she said.
“He wanted to pull and reef two runs back in the Rough Habit but he settled a lot better last time in the Grand Prix.
“He’s a really nice horse and hopefully he or Cylinder Beach can fly the flag for us.”
Cylinder Beach, with the blinkers back on, has drawn midfield at barrier ten with Michael Cahill to ride again while I’m Belucci is two gates wider at twelve with Jim Byrne in the saddle.
As well as Cylinder Beach and I’m Belucci giving the locals a good show, Gold Coast trained Eagle Way has a strong chance to secure a Queensland victory.
While I’m Belucci at $21 and Cylinder Beach at $26 are not that popular in the Ladbrokes.com.au market order for the Queensland Derby, Eagle Way is one of the favourites at $5.
The Bryan Guy trained three year old stormed into Queensland Derby calculations with two eye catching runs at his last two starts when fourth in the Rough Habit Plate followed by a second in the Grand Prix Stakes.
South Australian Derby winner Howard Be Thy Name at $4.20, holds a slight advantage for favouritism over the Chris Waller trained Mackintosh at $4.50.
Queensland Derby market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.20 Howard Be Thy Name, $4.50 Mackintosh, $5 Eagle Way, $7.50 Eschiele, $9.50 Etymology, Encosta Line, $21 I’m Belucci, $26 Cylinder Beach, $26 Brazen, Rodrico, $31 Multifacets, $51 Red Alto, Admiral Jello, Harvard, $91 Snapper, $101 Maven Wiz, Star Zone, $201 Slaughter Bay.