John O’Shea is sweating on the 2013 Victoria Derby barrier draw and has revealed that he believes drawing a good gate is the best chance that his charge Savvy Nature has of beating favourite Complacent in the Group 1 $1 million race at Flemington on Saturday.
Complacent is currently on the first line of Victoria Derby betting markets but there has been plenty for Savvy Nature, who is now into odds of $4.40, after he recorded an impressive victory in the Group 2 Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Savvy Nature was beaten by Complacent, one of three Peter Snowden-trained Victoria Derby runners, in both the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) and Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m); with Complacent drawing on the inside of Savvy Nature on both occasions.
O’Shea told Racing Victoria it was vital that his star three-year-old drew an inside gate, when the Victoria Derby barrier draw was held tomorrow afternoon, in order to be able to settle closer to Complacent.
“If we are going to beat him, the barriers are going to be vital,” O’Shea said.
“The two times we’ve met him we’ve had to give him a big start and we just need to draw a gate where we can get within striking distance in the run so that we’re not setting ourselves too great a task.
“If we draw 14 or 15 and he draws one again, we’re going to be spotting him six or eight lengths.”
Savvy Nature did not beat a particularly strong field in the Mitchelton Wines Vase but the race has always been a key lead-up to the Victoria Derby; with seven out of the last eleven Derby winners coming out of the Group 2 event at Moonee Valley.
O’Shea said that he was happy with the son of Savabeel’s effort on Saturday but expects the three-year-old to improve when he makes his debut at Flemington this weekend.
“The bigger track will suit, the sweeping bend will suit him but having had the run left handed will also suit him,” O’Shea said.
“He had a good hard gallop Saturday, so we’ll just keep him ticking over, and he will work over a mile again on Thursday.”
O’Shea is yet to taste success in the Victoria Derby; with Get Square (fifth in 2006) and Shot Of Thunder (ninth in 2000) both missing the placings.