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Victoria Derby preview


Ah, Derby Day. The greatest day in Australian racing, although some may argue that without an open WFA race now, it's not quite the perfect mix. Miserable bastards! A fantastic programme this year with some capacity fields, so it's likely to be one of those punting days where either everything you touch turns to gold...or you can't even afford the bus fare home.

Taking on the challenge of the 3yo classic is regular contributor Luke Humphreys, @WorldRacingLuke.

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AAMI Victoria Derby
Group 1, AU$1,500,000, 2500m
For 3yo colts, geldings and fillies
Flemington 1550 AEST,  0450 BST
ODDS LISTED ARE TAB.COM.AU (WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON)



1 Ace High (7/2): Been brilliant leading all the way the last twice, with the most recent of those at G1 level in the Spring Champion Stakes. Should go forward again and is the best horse in the race arguably, and is tough, which is a key factor for a staying race for 3YOs so early in the season.

2 Tangled (11/2): Unlucky in the Dulcify and in the Spring Champion three and two runs back but convincingly beat by Cliff’s Edge in the Norman Robinson at Caulfield when having a nice sit, who was since second to Aloisia in the G2 Vase last week. On his G1 run in Sydney can reverse form with the favourite but looked moderate at Caulfield.

3 Astoria (9/1): Well beaten behind Ace High in the Gloaming (as favourite) and the Spring Champion, third last time in a trial race for this at Geelong. Place best hope and will find a couple too good.

4 Eshtiraak (18/1): Has been improving and got to the line well last time, can get into the finish, however doubt he can win.

5 Main Stage (11/2): Beaten a nose in the trial when had every chance. Then produced a top win at the same level over the same C&D beating Cliff’s Edge. Only third behind him at Caulfield at G3 level two weeks ago but. Obviously likes Flemington but so that’s a positive. Part-owned by Richmond superstar Dustin Martin who won just about everything this season; how about a G1 horse race as well?

6 Sully (6/1): Wonderfully-named gelding by Reliable Man (Sully was the nickname of the pilot who calmly emergency  landed a plane on the Hudson River). Extremely green when winning at Bendigo two back, ran ok in the G3 Gloaming in Sydney and then ran brilliantly when storming home in the Spring Champion. Couldn’t have drawn worse but rider is a magician, won the race in 2010 on Lion Tamer, 2011 on Sangster for this stable and in 2013 on Polanski.
7 Weather With You (6/1): Fourth in the trial over 1800m at Flemington and then seventh in a LR over the same C&D. Won well when staying the 2200m out best in the LR Geelong Classic last time. Not sure if he is good enough but should stay.
8 Aberro (33/1): Has raced ok throughout the trial races but has always found a couple too good for him and that will be the case again here.

9 Pissaro 
(33/1): Got to the line strongly enough in the G2 Vase a week ago, had absolutely no luck in Adelaide prior. Value of the race.

10 Justice Faith 
(50/1): No luck last start in Geelong Classic, never got a clear run in the straight. Could be suited by the trip, nice roughie.

11 Oceans Fourteen (13/1): Only making start four, won easy at Donald two back and produced clearly a career-best when a good second at Geelong last time, after a very cosy trip compared to most of the field. Place best though. 13/1 massive unders.

12 Greycliffe (9/1): Very impressive win last time against the older horses over 2200m at Seymour. Improving at the right time and classically bred for the Derby trip.

13 Johnny Vinko (33/1): Maiden from four but not the worst maiden. Good run two back at Flemington behind Main Stage but only 11th at Geelong last time, going back from a terrible gate, then nine-wide on the home turn.

14 Nothing Too Hard (80/1): Sydney sider that is a maiden from ten, beaten under 4L at Geelong but hugged the rail the whole way. Won’t be good enough but already seasoned at a similar trip.

15 Rockarral (70/1): Bit to learn still but not a bad run at Geelong when drawn extremely wide, dropped right back, blocked for runs on home bend then came about eight wide. Trained by Tony McEvoy who is flying lately, there are worse bets around at these odds...

16 Wolfe Tone (100/1): Not good enough especially after drawing the outside.

17 Beachwood (80/1): EMERGENCY

Ratings: (12) GREYCLIFFE - (1) ACE HIGH - (6) SULLY - (9) PISSARO - (2) TANGLED – (4) ESHTIRAAK - (5) MAIN STAGE - (10) JUSTICE FAITH - (11) OCEANS FOURTEEN - (7) WEATHER WITH YOU


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