The 2013 Victoria Derby odds of Darley colt San Diegoare now into $7 as the wave of support that he has found since Wednesday’s barrier draw continues.
San Diego was considered a $10 chance before the barrier draw, with punters preferring his high-profile stablemate Complacent, but since drawing barrier six, San Diego has been one of the best backed runners in the race while Complacent’s Victoria Derby odds have lengthened significantly.
Leading jockey Steven Arnold will be reuniting with San Diego for the first time since he made his debut at Ballarat and told RSN that he has been happy with the form of the Exceed And Excel colt who finished a narrow second behind Polanski in his final lead-up race.
“I think that he is a really good chance,” Arnold said.
“He seems to be on the way up and I thought that his run was excellent the other day.
“He drew an ordinary barrier and had to work forward but still finished off the race really well.”
San Diego is out of Exceed And Excel, not a known sire of stayers, and Arnold admits there is a concern that the three-year-old will not run out a strong 2500 meters at Flemington tomorrow.
However, San Diego has always looked like he would relish a step-up in distance and Arnold is confident that the inside barrier draw will help the colt relax during the run as well as give him a lovely passage into the race.
“The trip is a little bit of a query but he has drawn a nice gate to be able to get into a nice spot and I think that he is a live chance,” Arnold said.
“I rode him Tuesday morning and they applied the Norton Bit, which seemed to have him pretty relaxed so hopefully that is something that can help him relax in the run.
“I thought that was an ideal draw really.
“I think that the horse of John Sadler’s (Throw The King) will take up the running and I am drawn just outside him.
“If he slides across to the lead, I can slide across to just outside him and he should end up in a nice little spot I would say.
“It is a little bit of a query but I thought after doing a little bit of work the other day that he was still nice and strong on the line.
“From that better gate and with a little bit of cover early I am sure that he will run the trip.”
Arnold will be riding in the Victoria Derby for the ninth time in his career but has not had any success in the race and has generally ridden horses at long odds; finishing outside the placings on Subiaso (2012), Rapidus (2011), Kudakulari (2010), Villain (2007), On The Map (2005), Danasri (2003), Sir Anabaa (2001) and Rock Of The Ages (1999).