Tavistock Abbey has claimed ballot-free entry into this year’s Group 1 Victoria Derby after beating Main Stage in a photo finish to this afternoon’s Victoria Derby Trial (1800m) at Flemington Racecourse.
Tavistock Abbey carried winning form into the race, but drifted noticeably in betting markets as punters focused their attention on several of his Derby Trial rivals.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Luke Currie settled the horse within the field of thirteen as Dante Rossetti, Mutamayel and Main Stage dictated early terms on pace.
Currie was able to get the horse to switch off in transit and allowed plenty of time to balance early in the final straight before asking for an extra effort.
Having allowed Main Stage a lead of several lengths, the Tavistock gelding flew home; completing a perfectly-timed sprint to post the impressive win.
Trainer Anthony Freedman was on hand for Tavistock Abbey’s win in the Victoria Derby Trial, but revealed an exact path is yet to be determined for the horse.
“It’s the obvious way to go (Victoria Derby), but he’s obviously got to keep doing it,” Freedman said.
“He was strong today. He wasn’t as dominant today as he was at Bendigo, but he got the job done and he’ll probably improve off it.
“We’ve got various options. We could go to the Caulfield Classic, the Vase, Geelong. We’ll just plot a course through to the Derby.
“If we’re happy with him come Derby Day we’ll run, but if it comes a bit quick for him, we might wait for the autumn, but we’ll see.
“He was disappointing his first-up run at Geelong – it was a messy race and he didn’t like the clutter of it, but he got the job done at Bendigo and again today, so he should only get better as they get longer.”
Main Stage was outstanding to the line and unlucky not to win the race in the bob, while Mutamayel boxed on well to finish third.
Tavistock Abbey has firmed onto the top line of Victoria Derby betting at Ladbrokes.com.au; now tied with Ace High at $8 odds.