Hampton Court is currently available at 2014 Victoria Derby odds of $2.75 and is a clear favourite to take out the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.
Hampton Court stamped himself as a clear favourite for the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) when he upset First Seal and Sweynesse to win the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 11 and the form coming out of that race was franked when Sweynesse finished an unlucky eighth in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) last weekend.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse has always had a big opinion of Hampton Court and she said at trackwork earlier in the week that she is confident the Redoute’s Choice colt will be far too strong for his rivals in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) this weekend.
“It was absolutely outstanding work,” Waterhouse said.
“It will take an outstanding horse to beat him and I think that he will win easily.
“He has everything that you look for in a Derby colt; he is big and strong, he has a superb temperament and he can stay.
“This is a very special horse that has come into his own once he got to the 1900 and the 2000.”
Chris Waller-trained Preferment is yet to record a race win, but he is currently on the second line of 2014 Victoria Derby betting markets at a quote of $6.
Preferment has always looked like an ideal Victoria Derby horse and his odds to take out the Group 1 event where slashed when he stormed home in the final stages to finished second behind Nozomi in the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) at Geelong on October 22.
The Waller stable is still trying to work out Preferment and Melbourne stable foreman Justine Hales told TVN earlier in the week that the Zabeel colt still has plenty of improvement in from of him and is not without a hope in the Victoria Derby.
“He was supposed to win the gallop, which he did, but he still took a little bit of time to get warmed up,” Hales said.
“He is just a little bit dumb still and is taking a little while to work it all out.
“The other day I had pretty much given up on him and I thought he was going to run fourth, but in that last little bit he exploded out of the ground.
“He is obviously going to be a better horse in the autumn, but we have got this far and we may as well go on to the Derby.”
One horse in the 2014 Victoria Derby field that is taking winning form into the race is Mick Price-trained Moonovermanhattan, who scored an impressive victory in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) on Saturday.
The Manhattan Rain colt is now available at 2014 Victoria Derby odds of $9, while Danny O’Brien-trained Bondeiger ($9) is the only other horse in the field that is available at single figure odds after being backed from $10 into $9 this morning.
There has been a sprinkling of support for Light Up Manhattan ($19) and Royal Standing ($67 into $61), while Lotion ($41 out to $51), The Mighty Jrod ($61 out to $71) and Verreaux ($51 out to $61) have all been on the drift.