Shadow Hero remains the firm favourite in the betting for today’s Group 1 $2m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on day one of the four day 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have Shadow Hero marked as the $3.20 favourite on race morning and trainer Mark Newnham also thinks that his three year old gelding is the one to beat.
“It’s been about a three-month plan and his preparation to date has been absolutely faultless,” Newnham told AAP.
“He was always just going to have the four starts so he should be peaking at the right time.
“He was great the other day in the Spring Champion, with a little bit of improvement left in him, so he’s getting here in the best possible shape he can be in and I think he just needs no bad luck.
“I haven’t really got any question marks. It’s only that I want a race that gives every horse their chance and I think if that happens I’m confident that my horse will come out on top.”
Shadow Hero has first class Sydney Spring Carnival form with wins in the Group 3 $200,000 Antler Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill on September 28 and in the Group 1 $1m Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 12.
Regular rider Josh Parr will be in the saddle again and he will be looking for some early luck to find cover in the run to the first turn from barrier nine in the fifteen horse Victoria Derby field.
Second favourite Thought Of That has eased slightly in the betting to be $3.90 after getting as short as $3.30 late in the week while Soul Patch has had plenty of admirers firming in from $6.50 to be the third pick in the betting at $4.50.
Thought Of That is also chasing a hat trick of wins after breaking through for his Maiden win at Donald two starts back and then scored an all the way win in the Group 3 $350,000 Ladbrokes Classic (2000m) at Caulfield on October 19.
Mark Zahra takes over the reins from Linda Meech on Thought Of That who will jump from the inside gate with Soul Patch coming out of gate two with Dwayne Dunn in the saddle.
Betting for the 2019 Victoria Derby at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.20 Shadow Hero, $3.90 Thought Of That, $4.50 Soul Patch, $8.50 Warning, $17 Relucent, $18 Southern Moon, $19 Long Jack, $34 Independent Road, $41 Translator, $51 Huntly Castle, $61 Craftsmanship, $91 He Is, Sign Seal Deliver, $151 Navarre, $201 Lucky Edward.