Horse Racing: VRC Derby Preview – Form & Insights

November 2, 2018

By Blake

This Saturday will see the running of the $2 Million Victorian Derby, the headline act on one of Australia’s great race days.

This year’s field is an absolute cracker headlined by the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Thinkin’ Big.

Also, premier Victorian trainer Darren Weir is well represented with 2 runners in the race, while the Lindsey Park training operation takes 3 horses in to the race.

1.  Thinkin’ Big

  • Trainer: G Waterhouse & A Bott
  • Jockey: T Clark
  • Barrier: 9
  • $3.40     Bet Now

Last start totally dominated his rivals to put in a 3-length win against many of the horses he will face in this race. Was able to sprint very well off a slow tempo that day and shouldn’t get that slow of a tempo here but has proven to have sustained speed and will be too good here. Winning chance.

2.  Aramayo

  • Trainer: J Cummings
  • Jockey: G Schofield
  • Barrier: 10
  • $6.50     Bet Now

Put in an enormous run last start when trying to defy the pattern of the day coming from back, wide and still rattled home for 3rd. Should get every chance on the big Flemington straight and running off a solid tempo. Looks to be the favourites biggest danger.

3.  Extra Brut

  • Trainer: D Weir
  • Jockey:  J Allen
  • Barrier: 15
  • $10     Bet Now

Beaten convincingly by Thinkin’ Big last start at Caulfield. Was given little chance that day back in the field off a very slow tempo but still would of liked him to hit the line better than he did. Back to Flemington will suit him but will still need everything to fall in his favour to challenge to top 2.

4.  Stars of Carrum

  • Trainer: R Laing
  • Jockey: B Melham
  • Barrier: 7
  • $8.50      Bet Now

Was given a peach of ride last start when winning at big odds, coming from back in the field at Mooney Valley to just get the bob of the head over Savoie and Aramayo in 3rd. Was helped by a fast tempo that day and should get that here but not sure he can match some of the classier ones here.

5.  Home Ground

  • Trainer: J Sargent
  • Jockey: H Bowman
  • Barrier: 16
  • $21     Bet Now

Last start winner of the Geelong Classic, but not convinced that’s where this year’s winner will come from.  Given a perfect ride that day and although they set a solid tempo had cover for most of the trip. Was strong after the line in his win suggesting the 2500m won’t be an issue but looks to be challenged at this class.

6.  Mickey Blue Eyes

  • Trainer: D & B Hayes, T Dabernig
  • Jockey: R Bayliss
  • Barrier: 3
  • $16     Bet Now

Was back in he field last start at Mooney Valley and made a long wide run which was very hard to do all day. Didn’t look to be that strong after the post after that run and would have liked him to be hitting the line a lot better than he did to consider him a winning chance here.

7.  Savoie

  • Trainer: D Weir
  • Jockey: D Yendall
  • Barrier: 17
  • $11     Bet Now

Was a massive run last start when just beaten on the line by Streets of Carrum. Was the only horse in the leading pack to hang on and be in the finish. Went past the winner after the line so the 2500m looks no problem. Drawn terribly in 17 but if he can get across he has the sustained speed required to win a Derby. Winning chance.

8.  Visao

  • Trainer: C Maher & D Eustace
  • Jockey: D Lane
  • Barrier: 13
  • $51    Bet Now

Was solid last start behind Thinkin’ Big where he settled towards the rear of the field on a slow tempo and hit the line well. Back onto the big Flemington track where he has one before helps. Place Chance.

9.  Seberate

  • Trainer: D & B Hayes, T Dabernig
  • Jockey: C Parish
  • Barrier: 18
  • $151     Bet Now

Was only ordinary last start at Geelong where he got back and didn’t run on. Can’t see him troubling anything in this race.

10.  Chapada

  • Trainer: M Moroney
  • Jockey: J Macdonald
  • Barrier: 12
  • $16     Bet Now

Was a good run when finishing 3-lengths off Thinkin’ Big in 2nd place, well ahead of Extra Brut and Visao. Draw isn’t as bad as it looks as Macdonald should be able to position him midfield either one off the fence or three-wide with cover and give him every chance to run the leaders down. Chance.

11. Sikorsky

  • Trainer: D & B Hayes, T Dabernig
  • Jockey: L Nolen
  • Barrier: 6
  • $21     Bet Now

Stuck on well to finish a gallant 3rd in the Geelong Classic, but again that doesn’t look the right lead up race. Should go forward from his good barrier but others in the race should be to classy.

12. Farooq

  • Trainer: T McEvoy
  • Jockey: K McEvoy
  • Barrier: 2
  • $12     Bet Now

Another horse out of the Geelong Classic, led that day and was just run down late by Home Ground. Drawn perfectly to settle in a prominent position. If anything from the Geelong Classic was to run a place it will be this horse.

13.  Louie the Legend

  • Trainer: T Busuttin & N Young
  • Jockey: D Dunn
  • Barrier: 11
  • $126     Bet Now

Didn’t trouble anyone in the Geelong Classic where he was up on the speed but dropped to finish nearly 9 lengths off the winner. Would want to improve significantly to make an impact here.

14.  Savvy Oak

  • Trainer: T Busuttin & N Young
  • Jockey: M Zahra
  • Barrier: 5
  • $19     Bet Now

Another who ran on well last week at Moonee Valley behind Streets of Carrum, running against the pattern of the day. Before that was running modestly behind some leading hopes in this race. From the barrier he should be a lot closer than last start. Outside chance.


15.  Tolemac

  • Trainer: F Finnegan
  • Jockey: M Dee
  • Barrier: 14
  • $81     Bet Now

Ran Ok in the Geelong Classic finishing 4th after landing midfield in the run and chasing steadily. Only had 3 career starts and this looks like it’s come around too soon for him.

16.  Grinzinger Star

  • Trainer: D O’Brien
  • Jockey: D Oliver
  • Barrier: 4
  • $34     Bet Now

Lightly raced colt who ran a big race in the Geelong Classic running on well to finish 3rd. Before that won well at Ballarat. Has miles in the legs coming off two 2200m runs but looks a class below the best here.

17.  Alessandro (emergency)

  • Trainer: R Griffiths
  • Jockey: B Thompson
  • Barrier 1
  • $34     Bet Now

Emergency unlikely to gain a start. Only had 3 career starts and although he has won 2 of them, they were in much lower grade than this.

18.  Vow and Declare (emergency)

  • Trainer: D O’Brien
  • Jockey: J Winks
  • Barrier: 8
  • $71     Bet Now

Second emergency that needs a miracle to gain a start. Last start won well at Warrnambool but there were no Victorian Derby runners in that field.

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