Derby Day
  • Trevor Lawson’s Derby Day top picks for the four Group 1 races
  • Derby down to 3 main chances
  • Wait until Race 9 for Best of the day
  • Could be a big Quaddie dividend with plenty of value in 3rd leg

Race 5: Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes

First Group 1 of the day is the Empire Rose Stakes. NZ mare, Melody Belle (2) is the favourite and has won 3 on the trot including over this trip and further, in NZ. Displays good turn of foot and definitely the horse to beat. Pohutakawa (9) ran well 2nd-up over 1400 but too far back last start before running on strongly. Importantly 2 runs at the mile for a win and a placing. Princess Jenni (7) got too far back last start from the barrier in harder race, better suited here against own age, good chance. Savitiano (4) needed run 1st-up, improved last start when able to dictate on the speed. Slight concern was well beaten only start this distance range. Nettoyer (10) is some hope at odds.

Race 6: Coolmore Stud Stakes

The Coolmore has the top 4 in the market ahead of the rest. Bivouac (2) was unlucky in the Manikato. Basically this is his 3rd Grand Final in the 3 runs. Got him rated about his market price but would need a bit more to back him – wouldn’t surprise if he wins or blows up and finishes out of it. Libertini (12) ran well at first couple of runs this prep, narrowly beaten when stepped up to 1400. Had a 6-week let-up in prep for this and good chance if forward enough. Exceedance (6) ran well fresh on soft track, solid effort in Golden Rose and has form around Bivouac. Chances enhanced on wet track. Cosmic Force (5) has been racing consistently but rates below favoured runners. Would need to step up or others to have a “bad” one to see him winning this.

Race 7: Group 1 Victoria Derby

I’ve got the Derby down to the 3 main hopes, starting with Shadow Hero (1) who walked in 2nd-up over 1800 and then was strong through the line to win the G1 Spring Champion at Randwick over 2000m. The horse to beat if he runs the trip. Thought Of That (3) was a good effort at Caulfield, leading all the way in the Norman Robinson. They do “travel” for Meech. Jockey change with Zarah aboard. Soul Patch (2) was good in the AAMI Vase last Friday when strong through the line. On the quick back-up here.

Race 8: Group 1 Cantala Stakes

The Cantala is a wide open affair, $7 the field. Night’s Watch (8) came through the Toorak with no luck in the straight, can improve here and should be better suited by Flemington’s big open spaces. Will be strong late. Royal Meeting (5) looked in need of the run when first-up at Caulfield after 12 months off. Was outsprinted, worked home OK to run 3rd on that occasion. Here has drawn wide and will need luck but is good enough to win. Sikandarabad (11) hasn’t had much luck in his past few starts. He hit the line nicely again last start and just needs clean air to be thereabouts. Fierce Impact (6) produced big spike rating to win the Toorak last start when defied the market. Doubt he could repeat that here and would need a better price to be on. Fifty Stars (3) has been given a slight freshen-up from the Epsom, good record at Flemington and the mile. Looks to get a good run here and a chance at odds.

Race 9: Furphy Sprint

The last is not a Group 1 but very important to Quaddie players. Pippie (4) pulled up lame last start at Caulfield but previous runs have been terrific. Drawn out which may be an advantage but won’t know until later in the day. Walked in on a Soft5 at Caulfield and looks well in here. Manicure (1) won well at Group 3 level 1st-up at Caulfield and backed that up with solid 2nd behind Tofane in the Northwood Plume, solid claims again. Tofane (2) ran well 3 starts ago and then poor at Caulfield when well fancied before exploding last start in the Northwood at Caulfield when out of the market. Looks a promising type. Humma Humma (5) has won past 2 and rated extremely high in doing so. Drawn inside which might be a disadvantage. but won’t know until later in the day. Gift Of Power (7) put up a good effort in Adelaide 1st-up and then covered plenty of ground at Caulfield when well supported in the market, likely improver here with better run. Sweet Scandal (11) ran well past 2, maps well here and chance at double-figure odds.

Derby Day Quaddie Numbers

Race 6: 1,2,5,6,12

Race 7: 1,2,3

Race 8: 3,5,6,7,8,11,12,13,15,16

Race 9: 1,2,4,7,11

Best of the Day: Pippie (Race 9)

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