Preferment has drawn the outside barrier in the ten horse field of the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday as he chases his second Derby success on the first day of ‘The Championships.’
The Chris Waller trained colt took out the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival and showed that he was back in form with a nose second to Australian Derby rival Volkstok’N’Barrell in the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 21.
Champion Melbourne jockey Damien Oliver was aboard in the Victoria Derby and will team up with Zabeel colt again in the Australian Derby.
Kiwi colt Volkstok’N’Barrell with Criag Williams to ride again has drawn midfield at five while fellow New Zealand colt Mongolian Khan with Opie Bosson in the saddle has drawn the rails.
Mongolian Khan chased home Volkstok’N’Barrell when fifth in the Rosehill Guineas but was too strong for the Tavistock gelding when he beat him when they ran the quinella in the Group 1 NZ$750,000 TV3 NZ Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on February 28.’
Impressive last start winner Hauraki, trained by John O’Shea for Godolphin, has drawn out wide at nine with the in-form James McDonald to ride again.
Hauraki put himself well into Australian Derby contention with a two and a half lengths win in the Group 2 $175,000 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill last week and O’Shea has no worries about backing him up in a week.
“We have always felt that he could win a Derby and hopefully next Saturday he acquits himself well,” O’Shea said.
Golden Slipper winning jockey Tommy Berry has been aboard Ruling Dynasty at his last two starts for a win over 2000m in a Class 1 at Kembla Grange on March 15 then ran fifth to Hauraki in the Tulloch Stakes and will ride again.
The Bart and James Cummings colt will jump from barrier four while the Chris Waller trained Quick Strike with Tye Angland will come out of gate three.
Omeros from the John Sargent stable has found form at the right time and made up ground when second to Hauraki last week and has drawn well at gate two with Hong Kong super star Joao Moreira to ride.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Hampton Court is struggling to regain his Spring form that saw him win the Group 1 $400,000 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick and has drawn barrier six with Josh Parr to ride.
Hampton Court is backing up for his fourth Saturday in a row and is coming off a lacklustre ninth to Hartnell in the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill last week.
Warwick Farm trained Brogue has drawn barrier seven with Christian Reith on top while Victoria three year old Bikila has Chad Schofield to ride from barrier eight.