Lizard Island has been included in the 2015 Victoria Derby field, but trainer Pat Hyland admits that the Group 1 placegetter is no certainty to run out a strong 2500 metres in the $1.5 million race at Flemington this weekend.
Lizard Island appeared to tire late when he finished a tough second behind Sacred Eye in the Group 3 Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic (2000m) at Caulfield on October 17 and he will be stepping out above 2000 metres for the first time in his racing career.
Hyland admits that Lizard Island is not an out and out stayer, but he told Racing Ahead that class can often get horses very far in the 2015 Victoria Derby and he is hopeful that will prove the case with the son of Sebring this weekend.
“I think there probably is, but there are question marks with a lot of them with distance,” Hyland said.
“There have been Derbies won by non-staying horses forever and a day and I just hope that we are one of them.
“I would like him to draw a good barrier and he could pop out and be locked out on the fence in fifth or sixth or seventh and eighth.
“That will give him the last crack at them.”
Lizard Island started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a disappointing sixth at Sale on August 13, but since that run he is yet to produce a poor performance and he finished in the placings in the Listed Pin And Win Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 12, the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on at Caulfield on October 10 and the Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic.
Hyland said that he has been delighted with the form of Lizard Island during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival and he believes that the three-year-old is worthy of an opportunity in the 2015 Victoria Derby.
“His only really bad run was when he missed the start at Sale that day, but he has performed very well,” Hyland said.
“This is a big ask, but he has run in the Guineas and he ran in that race at Caulfield a fortnight ago and I think that it was good enough to at least give him a shot at it.”
Lizard Island is currently available at 2015 Victoria Derby odds of $12 with Ladbrokes and he is on the sixth line of betting behind Tarzino ($2.40), Kia Ora Koutou ($8), Extra Choice ($10), Get The Picture ($11) and Pay Up Bro ($11).
Don’t miss out on the best Victoria Derby odds with Ladbrokes, who are offering Best Tote or Starting Price +20% for every single race at Flemington on Saturday.