Derby: Runner-by-runner preview
VICTORIA DERBY – RUNNER BY RUNNER
1. Apulia $4 (TAB odds at time of publishing)
Bred to get the trip being by Fiorente out of a High Chap mare and win in the Moonee Valley Vase was a strong one over the 2040m against some key rivals here. Should be rock-hard fit at this stage of the second-prep, just needs to not be over the top at the 6th run of his second preparation and looks one of the hardest to beat.
2. Verdad $9
Led them up and good enough behind Apulia in the Vase last start at Moonee Valley. Sp’d $2.50 favourite that day but was fairly beaten and not sure that looks a natural stepping up the extra 500m. Each-way chance for me but a bit between Apulia and him on the Vase run.
3. Air Assault $17
Another that comes through the Vase where finished 3rd behind Apulia & Verdad. Some excuses working early into the wind and feel that may be suited to the 2500m more than Verdad and could turn the tables there. Will find it harder over Apulia when looking at that race. Each-way or place chance at a good price.
4. Riff Rocket $2.20
Obliterated them in the Super Impose at this track and put up some big figures in doing so. Arguably had some excuses when narrowly defeated last time in the Norman Robinson and looks better suited back here on the big track and up in trip. Just needs to stay the trip and looks the hardest to beat.
5. Sunsets $12
Barrier might hurt here. Was excellent defeating Riff Rocket from the front last time after controlling the race. Best work comes from on speed and last couple of time he’s drawn double figures have been his two worst results. Needs to stay and needs luck from the gate with a poor map.
6. Make A Call $91
Recent racing in stakes company hasn’t set the world on fire and needs to turn around a 7-length defeat to Riff Rocket. Will be giving them a start and while a good tempo looks potentially likely, was beaten in a Kembla Grange C1 last start and would need to find some significant improvement if other run to their best.
7. Gold Bullion $31
Beat Sunsets two starts back over 1800m and we’ve seen that form franked through Riff Rocket, though was subsequently disappointing last start in the Norman Robinson over 2000m. By Savabeel gives him every opportunity to stay the trip on breeding, but on what we’ve seen on the track, he’s not screaming for it and I’m prepared to say at start 6 of his first prep, up significantly in trip off a poor run, he’ll find it tough.
8. Gates $12
Lightly raced and was good second-up in the Norman Robinson behind Sunsets and Riff Rocket when well held 3rd. Sticky gate and will likely need to go back, but should get a fair tempo and if handles the rise to 2500m here third-up, could be one that runs very well.
9. Kosgei $41
Comes through a good run in the Geelong Classic where he worked home solidly from off the speed to finish third. Prior too far back here and a forget for mine. Will appreciate the big track and step up to 2500m and off that, looks one that can run well and potentially overs at the big price.
10. Bulawayo $61
Comes through the Vase where was well held behind some key rivals here. Bred to stay being by Fiorente, but would need to thrive at the extra trip to turn around recent 7 length deficits to some of his rivals here. Deep into his first-prep, it would be some feat.
11. Sacred Eagle $101
Was OK in the Geelong Classic when 4th battling on fairly from close to the speed. Not sold on him running the 2500m off what we’ve seen and would need to improve a few lengths on class as well to be winning.
12. Roguery $41
Won his previous two at 2000m and looks one that will get every chance to stay the 2500m. Two wins have come in maiden and BM64 company and narrow margin in the BM64 win probably not strong enough to suggest that he’s ready to be beating some of these without sharp improvement.
13. Mercante $51
Another who looks a good chance to stay the 2500m but might lack a little on class against the better chances here. Does have Oliver on in his last Derby though, so one for the romantics on the fact he’s a good chance to stay.
14. To Be Frank $101
Won a mile maiden at Pakenham in good fashion, then stepped to 2000m and rose in class for the Norman Robinson where showed very little behind Sunsets and was a well-beaten last. Would need to have been something seriously wrong and unpublished there to be considered any chance here.
15. Warialda Warrior $126
Last-start Scone maiden winner at his fifth attempt. Won in solid fashion there, but this looks significantly harder and would have to improve sharply here to be competing WITH the majority of these, which looks unlikely.
16. Tokyo Run $201
Maiden who led them up in the Norman Robinson and was found significantly wanting when the pressure went on. Beaten 4 times in maiden company prior with every chance says will find this very tough at set weights.
4. Riff Rocket
3. Air Assault
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