Caulfield trainer Henry Dwyer has rubber stamped a Queensland Derby start for his improving three year old Sonntag after an impressive win in the $80,000 ALH Group Handicap (2000m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
Sonntag was very strong at the end of the 2000m and Dwyer can’t see any problem with the Teofilo gelding handling the step up to 2400m of the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby at Eagle Farm on June 7.
“I reckon he could probably sustain that sort of speed he showed the last 600 metres today for another 400, no doubt,” Dwyer told AAP.
Dwyer has always planned to go to Queensland and Saturday’s win just confirmed his faith in the three year old.
“That was the idea before today if he ran well, and I don’t think we can change that now,” Dwyer said.
“So we’ll head to the Derby.”
“He’s a very clean-winded horse. He’s fit. He’s well. I don’t see why you wouldn’t go up there.”
Michael Rodd expects Sonntag to improve even further ridden back in the field in the Queensland Derby after taking a sit just behind the leaders before exploding away in the straight at Caulfield.
“He just needs a more conservative ride and it won’t be a problem,” Rodd said.
“He’s a little trier. It’s good for Henry. He’s a top young bloke.”
Dwyer was able to purchase Sonntag for $58,000 at a tried horse sale last August after failing at three runs for Darley Australia.
Saturday’s win was Sonntag’s second from only four starts for Dwyer and has certainly shown dramatic improvement since winning his maiden race over 1500m at Sale on April 17.
Last Saturday’s Group 2 The Roses winner Arabian Gold and New Zealand filly Telepathic head up the Queensland Derby market order with Ladbrokes.com.au at $7 just ahead of the Tony Gollan trained last start Group 3 Rough Habit Plate winner Amexed at $7.50.
Pinstripe Lane from the Troy Corstens stable is marked at $10 while Sonntag is sharing the next line of betting at $11 with the two Kiwi three year olds Glorious Lad and Hera.