The Kiwis are tipped to reign supreme in Sydney on Saturday with Sharp ‘N’ Smart back down under as favourite for the Group 1 $2 million Australian Derby (2400m).
The New Zealanders have been enjoying a charmed run in Australia this autumn with a host of feature race victories going to horses from across the Tasman.
The punters are on another smart raider in the Australian Derby field with the trend set to continue at Royal Randwick.
The mile-and-a-half showdown is one of four Group 1 races held as part of Day 1 of The Championships.
Betting at Ladbrokes has the Graeme & Deborah Rogerson-trained Sharp ‘N’ Smart on top at $3.30.
The in-form son of Redwood may be drawn wide out in gate 17 of 18, but that has not stopped the bookies keeping him very safe in Australian Derby betting.
He is six from 11 to date including an earlier Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) victory at Randwick last October.
A second in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington followed in the spring before he returned home.
Returning in January for a Group 1 second over a mile fresh, Sharp ‘N’ Smart has won his last two elite level runs back home including saluting as the odds-on elect in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) on March 4.
He now chases the cross-Tasman Derby double with jockey Hugh Bowman aboard for the ride.
Quick Thinker (2020) and Jon Snow (2017) were the last New Zealand-trained ATC Derby winners, while the fellow Murray Baker-trained Mongolian Khan (2015) was the last to do the double Sharp ‘N’ Smart looks to complete this autumn.
Also hailing from New Zealand in Sydney for the ATC Derby on Saturday as a single-figure chance is Mark Twain paying $7.
The Shocking gelding, prepared at Cambridge by Roger James & Robert Wellwood, is bred to stay being by the 2009 Melbourne Cup champion.
He also had his final lead-up in the New Zealand Derby running just 2.2 lengths back fourth to Sharp ‘N’ Smart.
Mark Twain jumps from a favourable barrier five draw with Kerrin McEvoy riding this weekend in the rematch at Randwick.
The other three-year-old stayer at single-figure Australian Derby odds this autumn is the James Cummings-trained Pericles at $5.50 in gate six with ace hoop James McDonald aboard.
McDonald is after a second Australian Derby win having partnered yet another of Murray Baker’s Kiwi-trained champions, Dundeel, to victory back in 2013.
He was in the saddle of Street Boss gelding Pericles last time out when the recent Group 2 Autumn Classic winner finished a nose back second to Lindermann in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 18.
Trainer Chris Waller has opted to drop his Rosehill Guineas winner Lindermann back in distance this weekend with the three-year-old up against the older gallopers on a light weight in the Group 1 $4 million Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Waller’s sole chance in the ATC Derby field then is his Victoria Derby winning Almanzor colt Manzoice who pays $13 to improve on his distant last start sixth in the Rosehill Guineas.
Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou’s Snitzel colt Williamsburg meanwhile is the other best out of the Rosehill Guineas up in distance for the Derby having run third and pays $21 to win on Saturday.
See below for the full Australian Derby 2023 final field and barriers.
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||4x1112x211||SHARP ’N’ SMART (NZ)||Graeme & Deborah Rogerson||Hugh Bowman||17||56.5kg||112|
|2||219281×86||MANZOICE||Chris Waller||Michael Dee||14||56.5kg||103|
|3||x43227x174||ELLIPTICAL||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Mark Zahra||3||56.5kg||102|
|4||1238×412||PERICLES||James Cummings||James McDonald||6||56.5kg||100|
|5||85135×7453||WILLIAMSBURG||Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou||Ryan Maloney||12||56.5kg||93|
|6||4x549x4172||ANDALUS (NZ)||Stephen Marsh||Zac Purton||8||56.5kg||90|
|7||32189434||FULL OF SINCERITY (NZ)||Andrew Forsman||Damian Lane||16||56.5kg||88|
|8||10×633||JAPANESE EMPEROR (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Blake Shinn||1||56.5kg||86|
|9||01014||MARK TWAIN (NZ)||Roger James & Robert Wellwood||Kerrin McEvoy||5||56.5kg||86|
|10||54x2x11102||SUIZURO||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Joao Moreira||4||56.5kg||80|
|11||6154424231||TAPILDOODLEDO (NZ)||Kerry Taplin||11||56.5kg||80|
|12||91x132x880||VIRTUOUS CIRCLE (NZ)||Liam Howley||Brett Prebble||18||56.5kg||80|
|13||13236×1142||MAJOR BEEL (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||15||56.5kg||78|
|14||59x411x077||HIGH APPROACH||Archie Alexander||Jordan Childs||10||56.5kg||75|
|15||133×9226||STROKE OF LUCK||John O’Shea||Tom Marquand||9||56.5kg||73|
|16||7×316||CHEVAL SAVANT||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||John Allen||2||56.5kg||64|
|17||x536Lx5211||DOMINGO (NZ)||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||13||56.5kg||62|
|18||413×171||TWIGMAN (NZ)||Paul Shailer||Luke Dittman||7||56.5kg||62|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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