Talented colt Panzer Division has been included in the 2014 Victoria Derby nominations that were released by Racing Victoria this afternoon.
Panzer Division made his racing debut with a comfortable win at Kembla Grange on July 19 before he stamped himself as a colt to watch with a close second in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) and a comfortable win in the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 6.
Trainer Paul Messara elected to give Panzer Division an opportunity at Group 1 weight-for-age level in George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 20 and he finished a credible fifth, but he is set to return to three-year-old racing for events like the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 11 and the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 1.
Godolphin narrowly missed out on winning the Victoria Derby last year when Complacent finished second behind Polanski and the leading racing operation has a number of chances to go one better in the race this year.
Sweynesse has recorded three wins from as many race starts, including the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle last Wednesday and looks like he will only improve when given an opportunity over more ground, while he could be included in the Victoria Derby field by stablemates Bracteate, Gouldian, Kumaon and Lassitude.
The Lindsay Park stable of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig is another that has included plenty of three-year-olds in the Victoria Derby nominations; with Firehouse Rock and Zululand set to be his best chances in the Group 1 event.
Zululand has performed fairly in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m), Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) and Listed Living Legends Stakes (1400m) since returning to the races, but is giving Hayes the impression that he will be even better when given the opportunity over more ground, while Firehouse Rock stamped himself as a Victoria Derby contender with a tough staying performance The Inglis Ready2Race Sale Handicap (1700m) at Caulfield on September 20.
One of the most interesting runners in the 2014 Victoria Derby nominations is Lloyd Williams-owned Divan.
Co-owner Nick Williams said that Divan was one of the most exciting horses in his stable after he made his racing debut with a fast-finishing third in the Listed Anazc Day Stakes (1410m) at Flemington in April.
Divan rocketed up Caulfield Guineas betting markets when he came from the back of the field to win a maiden at Sandown on August 27, but he failed to fire when tenth in the Living Legends Stakes at Flemington on September 13.
Other interesting horses in the 2014 Victoria Derby nominations include McNeil Stakes placegetter Awesome Rock, Kiwi gelding Atmosphere, Gai Waterhouse-trained Valentia and last start winner Light Up Manhattan.