Progressive two-year-old Temps Voleur has been set for the 2014 Victoria Derby after scoring an impressive victory in The Grand Frankston Hotel Handicap at Sandown yesterday.
Team Hawkes-trained Bugatty started The Grand Frankston Hotel Handicap as a short-priced favourite and the colt worked into the race nicely, but was one of the first horses beaten when asked for an extra effort by jockey Dwayne Dunn.
Temps Voleur was settled towards the tail of the field in the early stages of the race, but showed a good turn-of-foot to score a surprise win from Cautious and Pink Perfection.
The Time Thief colt was having just his second race start, after finishing fifth in the King Of Speed Handicap (900m) at Sandown on June 4, and jockey Craig Newitt was clearly impressed with the effort of the two-year-old.
He’ll be the best horse to come out of this meeting,” Newitt told Racing Victoria after the race.
“I think he’s very good; he’s still a big baby.
“He got to the front and then he waited for something to challenge him.
“He gets through ground, but wait until he gets on top the ground.”
Robbie Laing won the 2013 Victoria Derby with bargain colt Polanski and the veteran trainer believes that Temps Voleur is good enough to compete in the feature three-year-old staying race of the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Polanski was retired from racing after he suffered a career-ending injury in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing and Laing was clearly pleased to have another horse deserving of a Spring Carnival campaign.
“It just goes to show in racing that you can’t dwell on the past,” Laing said.
“It was devastating to lose Polanski to the racecourse but you’ve got to move on and I think we’ve got a potential Spring horse.
“He picked them up and put them away today and I think he’ll continue to do so.”
Temps Voleur will have his next race start in the Murray Cox Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on June 28 before contesting the Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m) at the same venue a fortnight later.
Brazen Beau ($11) is currently on top of the 2014 Victoria Derby betting market at Ladbrokes Australia from Bachman ($13), Chivalry ($13), Zululand ($13), Meursault ($15) and Pressing ($15).