A change of tactics for Ruling Dynasty will see the Bart and James Cummings trained colt take up a more forward position in the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ on Saturday.
Ruling Dynasty was able to record a five lengths win in a 2000m Class 1 at Kembla Grange on March 9 after Tommy Berry gave him the run of the race in the box seat but the colt got too far out of his ground at Rosehill last Saturday when a late finishing fifth to Hauraki in the Group 2 $175,000 Tulloch Stakes (2000m).
James Cummings said that he will be instructing Berry to take advantage of barrier four and put Ruling Dynasty in the first half of the field.
“He is going to be taking a much more forward position in the Derby this weekend,” James Cummings told Racing HQ.
“He steps up to the mile and a half for the first time. He has won at 2100m at Gosford and he was able to make two runs. He seems to be able to relax at the right time and really pick up when he is required.”
“There is no doubt that they were able to out sprint him from the three to the two there in the Tulloch on the weekend.”
While Cummings was impressed with Hauraki in the Tulloch Stakes, he thinks the John O’Shea trained colt might have some difficulty slotting into the field from barrier nine.
“I couldn’t help but be impressed by Hauraki. He was a winner on debut at 1400m, he is by Reset, he is coming good at the right time, he shows a good turn of foot, but maybe he is going to find it a little bit difficult to get into a nice spot from barrier nine, whereas he draw the plum barrier on Saturday to win the Group 2 in the Tulloch.”
“James McDonald knows that he needs to get that horse to switch off at a mile and a half and my horse can just cruise across and be right on top of the speed which is his preference and his running style and be finishing off just as he did last week to hopefully grind out a very very competitive finish in the Derby.”
Even though the Australian Derby field is small in numbers with only ten final acceptors, it is developing into an open betting race with half of the field with genuine winning chances.
Chris Waller’s Victoria Derby winner Preferment has hit form at the right time with a nose second to the Kiwi three year old Volkstok’N’Barrell in the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 21.
New Zealand Derby winner Mongolian Khan will be better suited over the 2400m of the Australian Derby after his fifth in the Rosehill Guineas and Omeros also put himself into contention with a second to Hauraki in the Tulloch Stakes.
Australian Derby market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Preferment, $3.90 Hauraki, $4.40 Volkstok’N’Barrell, $7.50 Mongolian Khan, $11 Omeros, $13 Ruling Dynasty, $15 Quick Strike, $26 Hampton Court, $81 Brouge, $101 Bikila.