Trevor Lawson’s Victoria Derby Preview

The Victoria Derby remains the jewel in the crown on the ultimate day for racing purists. Trevor Lawson has his full preview by runner.

Flemington Race 7 3:50pm
Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500 metres)
Three-year-olds, set weights

The lay of the land

The track will be pretty good.  The rail’s in the true and there’s no rain, so there should be no repeat of last year when they watered it, and then it rained.  This year we’ve had 28mm of rain earlier in the week, which just saves them watering it, and then fine weather since.  I’ve had word from a couple of people who walked it yesterday, and reports are good.

The speed story

I’ve got Morvada from barrier 10 in front, as he was at the Valley.  He’ll come straight across and lead from Captain Duffy and Sacred Elixir.  From there All Out Of Love and Wine Bush should push forward.

So Si Bon, Swear and Prized Icon will sit midfield whilst Rocketeer, Inference and Tumultuous will go back from wide barriers, leaving them a lot of work to do.

It’s a tricky course, it’s only about 350 metres to the first corner, so they’ll be rushing to get in otherwise they’ll be caught wide.  Barriers will play a part.

In the mix

Sacred Elixir (Pike / Purton) is coming off the win at the Valley, where he was held up at a vital stage and I thought should have won by more.  He looks a staying horse and maps to settle in the first half dozen

Prized Icon (Cummings / Schofield) wasn’t as good there, but was a lot better the start before when he was third in the Spring Champion.  He just doesn’t look a Derby horse to me.  He’s by More Than Ready out of a Danehill, I don’t know if he’s a real staying type.

Swear (Hawkes / Berry) on the other hand looks a real staying type, even if his pedigree doesn’t suggest it.  He was second to Yankee Rose in the Spring Champion and worked home well, and has a real shot here.

I reckon Morvada (Jolly / Arnold) has a good chance.  He was good in Adelaide two starts back where he got pressured in front and held on well, and was similar at the Valley:  they got to him at about the 400m and he fought them all off except the winner.  It’ll find the front here and keep fighting.

Captain Duffy (Stokes / Newitt) was pretty good winning the Geelong Classic, he was up on the speed and they ran a pretty good time in comparison to the Geelong Cup.  He finished strong and looks like he’ll run the 2500m, and maps to settle handy.  Hollywood Mo (Perry / Baster) ran on well at Geelong too, but had it’s chance and couldn’t get to the front.

So Si Bon (Laing / Bowman) was well held by Sacred Elixir at the Valley, but does get Bowman here which is a big positive.  He has a good record in this race.

Beach Life (Maher / Hall) kept making ground at Caulfield, but I’m just not sure if it has the class to be a chance here.

I liked Wine Bush (Waller / Moreira) last start but it was well beaten.  It was alright at Flemington the start before but I’m not sure if the form out of that race was as good.

Inference (Hawkes / Dunn) was really good at Caulfield last start in the old Norman Robinson.  He got held up at the top of the straight and hit the line really well.  But he’s drawn the outside here and maps to go back, which is trouble.

Likewise Rocketeer (Price / Zahra), who’s going well and has been up for a while.  He’s also in a wide barrier here though and will be a long way back from those in front.  I’ll risk him.

Tumultuous (Waller / Melham) has also drawn very deep and will have to go back, which will leave it a big task.

Put a line through…

I thought Silvera (McEvoy / McEvoy) was poor at the Valley, it went to make a run and went nowhere.

Highlad (Baker & Forsman / Williams) I don’t think has had the right prep to go the 2500m here.

Kent (O’Shea / McDonald) was well beaten at Caulfield and doesn’t have the class.

All Out Of Love (Hayes & Dabernig / Shinn) has no chance on form.

Trev’s Tip

Sacred Elixir is clear on top for mine.  I think he’ll get the trip fine and still has more to give.


I think Morvada is the one that’s really overs.  He’ll lead and will have to be run down.

Trevor Lawson is a full-time professional punter with a highly successful record over the past fifteen years. Our Melbourne Ratings package gives you access to his assessed prices, speed map comments and betting strategies for all metro Melbourne meetings.