Top Brisbane jockey Jim Byrne has retained the ride on Kiwi three year old Werther who has drawn barrier one in the Group 1 $600,000 Channel 7 Queensland Derby (2200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Byrne was aboard Werther when he beat the older horses in the Group 2 $250,000 Pages Event Equipment Hire Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) at Doomben last Saturday and Opaki trainer Andrew Campbell said that run would have topped him off nicely for the Queensland Derby.
Campbell had intended to go straight into the Derby without another run after finishing second to Western Australia’s super filly Delicacy in the Group 1 $500,000 William Hill South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 9 but was glad he sent him around last weekend.
“The original plan was to go straight into the Derby, but he just did so well up here we needed another run and this one fitted in beautifully,” Campbell told The Courier-Mail.
“I’ve always rated him as a really good horse and you saw the best of him (on Saturday). But in saying that, he had a real good blow and will improve further off that run.”
Byrne was also happy to have gotten a feel of the Tavistock gelding and is looking forward to teaming up with him again.
“I was really happy with the way he switched off in the run and we probably ran sub-34 over the last 600 so he’s got a really good turn of foot and look forward to the Derby,” Byrne said after his win on Saturday.
Peter Moody’s two Derby runners had mixed luck at the barrier draw with Upham drawing twelve in the original draw but will more than likely jump from ten in the final sixteen horse field if the emergencies don’t gain a start.
While Inauguration has drawn closer to the inside at three with Hugh Bowman to ride.
Kerrin McEvoy has retained the ride on Upham after steering him to a comfortable win in the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2020m) at Doomben on May 23 and Moody is expecting a huge improvement from Inauguration who had no luck at his recent runs and was a well beaten fourteenth in the Grand Prix Stakes.
Premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller will saddle up three runners in the Queensland Derby with mixed results with the barrier draw.
Saddler’s Lake with Blake Shinn to ride has drawn eighteen and will probably jump from fifteen, Quick Strike has Tommy Berry on top from barrier nine and Redoubtable Heart will jump from gate two with James McDonald.
The lightly raced Master Of Arts, barrier thirteen in the original draw, became a genuine Queensland Derby chance with an eye catching third to Upham in the Grand Prix Stakes and has Glen Boss taking over from Brad Rawiller.
Queensland Derby market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.70 Werther, $6 Master Of Arts, $10 Upham, Sadler’s Lake, $15 Magicool, High Midnight, Inauguration, $18 Jumbo Prince, $21 Worthy Cause, Quick Strike, Redoutable Heart, $31 Thermogenuc, $34 Spur On Gold, $41 Harry, $61 Chillin With Dylan, $81 Grappa Brandy, Rising Luck, $101 Lucoblu, $201 Allzin.