The 2011 VRC Derby preview

VRC Derby Preview By guest reviewer Todd Burmester The VRC Derby takes centre stage on Saturday on what many claim is racings day of days and with so many group races to be decided, who could argue? In the main event, The Derby, Manawanui does look a worthy favourite off the back of not only his impressive win in The Vase but his consistent form around the best three-year-olds in his previous runs. It was not that long ago however that Whobegotyou appeared to have a mortgage on The Derby and was beaten at very short odds. Could Manawanui face the same fate? In all honesty, I suspect not, Manawanui should win The Derby and I say this largely based on the horses versatility. Earlier this campaign we had seen him leading or very close to the lead and last start we saw him get well back round them up and give them a comprehensive beating. Based on that we should see the same result on Saturday. The question mark, as it always is, is the grueling 2500m journey of The Derby. However, I need not remind you that Mahogany ran the trip and won The Derby by a mile in his year ultimately based on class. He of course went on to also win a Lightning so it’s fair to say that if you have the class you don’t necessarily need the staying fortitude. Manawanui isn’t as such a “brilliant” horse like Whobegotyou on his day and this probably stands him in good stead. If he is beaten as Whobegotyou was, perhaps Sangster is a chance to do that. I believe connections were not all that happy with the ride last start and on Saturday he has the jockey that I believe is the best in Australia, Hugh Bowman. Sabrage came home over the top of Sangster last start and based on how strong to the line he was you would think he will be there at the end of the 2500m. Induna is the other one with winning form. Those are the 3 that I see as potential dangers to the favourite however the race has been known to throw up some surprise results,so don’t write off the chance of a real bolter either. To my way of thinking it’s not a race to confidently bet in. Logic and class suggests Manawanui but in the back of my mind I have a niggling doubt, and that doubt is probably the memory of Whobegotyou!