Despite an upset defeat on Australian debut, bookies are taking no chances with classy Kiwi stayer Survived.
The three-year-old remains favourite at $4.20 for the Queensland Derby after finishing three lengths behind Hawkspur in Saturday’s Rough Habit Plate.
The bookies appear to have taken the same view as the stewards who suggested the short-priced favourite could have challenged for victory if jockey Jonathan Riddell adopted different riding tactics.
Chief steward Wade Birch questioned why the Kiwi hoop made the decision to look for a run down the inside when he had the opportunity to move up around the outside of eventual third placegetter Usainity.
The move down the inside caused the John Bary-trained gelding to be held up, impacting his ability to get a clear run and causing a loss of momentum at the 300m mark.
“Stewards questioned J. Riddell in regards to his riding of Survived rounding the home turn and in the early part of the straight,” the stewards’ report said.
“J. Riddell stated that he was confident a run would come to the inside of Usainity between Stuboy and Heater, however when that run did not eventuate he was forced to alter course to the outside of Usainity near the 300m, coming into contact with Tonopah.”
Despite stewards stating that Riddell erred in his decision making, they did not believe action was warranted under the rules of racing.
Survived was sent out a $2 favourite on Saturday after winning his four previous starts including dominating the Hawke’s Bay Gold Cup by three lengths on April 20.
Bary said the son of Zed will not race again before the Derby on June 8 but will trial in the lead-up.