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Australian Derby preview

Yet another Group 1 on The Championships schedule tomorrow, this time the Australian Derby. There's cream at the top, but as Ben says below, not sure about the depth. Preview from astute Sydney racing judge, Ben McDermott, @BTMcDermott.

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2015 BMW Australian Derby
Group 1, 2400m, Royal Randwick
R7, 1550 local, 0550 BST
Preview by Ben McDermott

Twitter - @BTMcDermott

Form guide
Odds comparison

Be careful betting tomorrow at Randwick as it’s the first time we’ve had a wet track this Autumn carnival and therefore is likely to throw up an odd result. Don’t be afraid to back a horse from a wide gate, more than likely runners will come a few horses wide off the fence and avoid the rail. I feel that this Derby field is very weak in depth and there are horses in the market that shouldn’t be close to Preferment’s current price of $3.5. Preferment should be closer to $2.5-$2.2 in this.

Preferment (Oliver/ Waller)
There’s a really good sense of timing about Preferment. Similar to the spring carnival, he is fourth up at 2400m and his last run at 2000m in the Rosehill Guineas has put the writing on the wall. This is a horse that excels at 2000m+ and I feel he may be able to join Mahogany in winning both Melbourne and Sydney 3yo Derbys. I doubt that he’s the best 3yo stayer we’ve seen in a while but what he does have is an ability to stay a long trip and this will be particularly important on a bog track tomorrow. He’s out of Zabeel and a Flying Spur mare so he should get through the ground well enough. From what I’ve seen he is clearly the one to beat and will take an awful amount of beating!

Volkstok’n’barrell (Williams/ Logan)
Won the Rosehill Guineas two weeks back in a great finish just edging out Preferment. I believe this form reference will stack up well and feel the race Hauraki won last week won’t prove to be as strong. This horse had race fitness and sharpness on its side when it lined up two weeks ago against Preferment but in this situation I feel Preferment gains the advantage. There has been suggestions that he has been treated for an issue during the week which isn’t a good sign either.

Mongolian Khan (Bosson/ Baker)
After winning his last five starts in New Zealand he contested the Rosehill Guineas. That race was a fair test over 2000m as the pace was solid so it can’t be classified as a “sit and sprint” affair. Given this, I feel he was really disappointing and beaten a long way – he raced liked he’s had enough for the preparation. He would have to be a seriously good mud lark to come out and win.

Hampton Court (Parr/ Waterhouse)
He hasn’t shown me anything this prep which suggests that he can be a danger. Hasn’t done anything since his sensational win over 2000m at Randwick in the Spring Champion Stakes Group 1 race in the spring. Should be in the spelling paddock!

Hauraki (McDonald/ O’Shea)
I’m really struggling to work out how this guy is favourite with some agencies! Like c’mon he’s not a $3.4 chance. Probably the Godolphin factor is influencing his price significantly – they have been unstoppable of late. His win last week was visually impressive but was against a very weak, second tier group of horses. He’s a place chance but I will take him on at his current price.

Quick Strike (Angland/ Waller)
Has had a solid preparation but he’s outclassed in this. Maybe he will roll forward and set the pace?

Omeros (Moreira/ Sargent)
Only lightly raced and has a nice pedigree being by High Chaparral. I think this is too new for him all and I feel the more seasoned horses are advantaged. However he is a horse on the up and has improvement to come. Also doesn’t hurt that the best jockey in the world goes on.

Ruling Dynasty (Berry/ B & J Cummings)
Another lightly raced horse but is really outclassed here. Would prefer him in much weaker class.

Bikila (Schofield/ Carey)
I can’t get excited about this horses chances in this and it’s reflected in his huge odds. Should have stayed in BM70 grade.

Brogue (Reith/ Englebrecht)
Has progressed from a maiden at Hawkesbury to a Group 1 race at Randwick in a month. His run last week didn’t indicate he would be any chance in the Derby. No thanks.

Selections
1. Preferment
2. Volkstock’n’barrell
3. Hauraki
4. Mongolian Khan

Suggested Bet
Keen on Preferment to out-stay them. Double him up with Terravista in the following race!

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