Trainer Shawn Mathrick has revealed that Ayers Rock may not take up the running in the early stages of the 2015 Victoria Derby at Flemington on Saturday.
Ayers Rock has shown plenty of early speed during his racing career to date and he led from start to finish in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on October 4 before he led again in the Group 3 Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic (2000m) on October 17, but Mathrick told Racing Ahead that he is worried the Nicconi colt may be forced wide if he attempts to push forward in the early stages of the 2015 Victoria Derby.
“I am a bit worried about that,” Mathrick said.
“The horse that has drawn inside me will go forward (Shards), Lizard Island has drawn three and I am bit worried we might get posted four deep and will have to do too much work to get there.
“I am a bit conflicted at the minute, but I am thinking that we are just going to let him pop out and see what unveils.
“Whether or not we actually get a soft lead or he will go back to midfield.
“I have no doubt that he will run the trip.
“It would be great for the horse, I admire the horse and if he could win the Derby I would be pretty ecstatic for him.”
Ayers Rock stamped himself as a Victoria Derby contender with his way in the UCI Stakes, but he could finish no better than seventh behind Sacred Eye in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic.
Mathrick said that Ayers Rock got badly unbalanced at the 1200 metre mark in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic and was lucky to stay on his feet, so Mathrick said he is happy to put a pen through the run and is confident that the three-year-old can return to his best form in the 2015 Victoria Derby.
“He had a bit of a hiccup at the 1200 when he bounced off the running rail and he pulled up a little bit scratchy,” Mathrick said.
“It probably took him three or four days to settle down, but he is bouncing back out of his skin now.
“His work has been super, I gave him a little trial on Monday because I want to put some gear on him and he had to trial with it on and he trialed really well.”
Ayers Rock is currently available at 2015 Victoria Derby odds of $26 with Ladbrokes, while Tarzino ($2.50) remains a dominant favourite from Kia Ora Koutou ($8), Lizard Island ($11) and Get The Picture ($11).
You can score the best Victoria Derby odds with leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes, who are offering Best Tote or Starting Price +20% for every race at Flemington on Saturday.