The Gai Waterhouse trained Hampton Court has emerged as the short priced favourite for the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Hampton Court has be installed at the short quote of $2.90 with Ladbrokes.com.au following his upset win over the favoured runners First Seal and Sweynesse in the Group 1 $400,000 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 11.
Waterhouse had never lost faith in the Redoute’s Choice colt after he began his Spring Carnival campaign slowly but hit form with a win in the Listed $100,000 TAB Betting Season Dulcify Quality (1600m) at Randwick on October 4 before his Spring Champion Stakes win.
“There’s a horse who couldn’t win a race until last week and everyone was pulling on his tail, even the owners had lost sort of heart, but once he was able to sort of mature … he was able to find his feet,” Waterhouse said after Hampton Court‘s win in the Spring Champion Stakes.
“He won the Dulcify, I backed him up in the Spring Champion and now he’s bought his ticket to Melbourne.
“You’d think he might run in the Derby, it would be very nice wouldn’t it, on the first Saturday in November.”
Second favourite, Preferment ($5.50) from the Chris Waller stable is also stepping up to the 2500m for the first time after being beaten a head by the Anthony Freedman trained colt Nozomi in the Listed $120,000 Emsley Lodge Racing Geelong Classic (2200m) at Geelong on October 22.
Bookmakers must have been more impressed with the runner up and have marked Nozomi as a $15 chance for the Victoria Derby.
Caulfield trainer Mick Price will back up last Saturday’s Moonee Valley winner Moonovermanhattan if grey colt pleases him later in the week.
Price had a lot of positives to say about Moonovermanhattan after his win in the Group 2 $200,000 Dilmah Exceptional Teas Vase (2040m) and bookmakers took note, marking him on the third line of betting at $6.
“He’s a good looking horse, he stands over a bit of ground. He is a big clean winded colt, he’s got a lovely temperament on him, he is very sound, he had a good two weeks,” Price said after the win on Saturday.
“I think this race is a good form race for the VRC Derby. I am really looking forward to it and I think he will relax.”
“If you put him in the Derby with cover he would get behind a horse and go to sleep.”
“He has a hell of a lot of things going for him, he just has to get the 2500m.”
Gerald Ryan is also confident his Victoria Derby runner Bachman will be able to handle the step up to the 2500m on Saturday following his sixth to Fontein Ruby in the Group 3 $750,000 racing.com Caulfield Classic (2000m) at Caulfield on October 18.
“I was really pleased with his run last time when he made up a lot of ground,” Ryan told Racing Network.
“This (the 2500 metres of the Derby) is what he has been looking for all along and I couldn’t be happier with him heading into the race.”
Bachman has been marked as a $12 chance alongside of the Mark Kavanagh trained Magicool who finished fifth in the Caulfield Classic.