Derby Day Preview

Derby Day Preview 

A massive day to Kick off the Flemington Carnival with 3 fantastic Group 1’s ahead. Here’s my on top selections for the features on Derby Day!

Coolmore Stud Stakes

For the 3 year olds over 1200 metres it’s a race that’s captured racing fans over the recent years and this edition is nothing shy of extraordinary yet again. 

Cylinder was game in The Everest where he had no favours and was stuck wide. Prior to that was brave in the Golden Rose where he was also posted wide and luckless. Meets straight racing for the first time which should suit him and over a trip where he’s won twice and placed once. Will jump and be poised midfield ready to strike late and should be extremely hard to beat on the back of his recent runs. 

Shinzo has struggled to return to his Golden Slipper winning form this preparation with average first and second up runs. On the back of those runs is hard to have but has the talent and ability to bounce back here. James McDonald and Chris Waller know what it takes to win a Coolmore and took a similar path 2 years ago with Home Affairs. Will be another horse who I belibe will benefit from straight racing and should be figuring in the finish. 

Steparty was good in the Caulfield Guineas where he didn’t quite finish off like he had been over the shorter trips. Returns to Flemington where he’s won twice and a trip he’s unbeaten over. Will be on the speed making his own luck and should be in the placings yet again. 

I Am Unstoppable was good in the Danehill and gains the services of Blake Shinn. Races well here at Flemington and is a winner at this trip. Will be poised just behind the speed and should be a hope for the exotics. 

Cylinder on top for me will be hard to beat and should benefit from straight racing, Shinzo to bounce back and finish in the placings and Steparty in for third. 

Victoria Derby 

2500 metres for the 3 year old Colts and Geldings. It’s a gruelling test that’s produced some champions of the turf and thrown some shock winners in recent times. 

Apulia backs up after winning at Moonee Valley last week in convincing style. Prior to that was good enough in a slowly ran race behind Sunsets and Riff Rocket. Has continued to improve throughout the preparation and is bred to stay. Drawn well to get an economical run just behind the speed and with Mark Zahra aboard will get all the favours. The one to beat. 

Riff Rocket got his chances last start at Caulfield however didn’t handle the track and will appreciate returning to Flemington where he was a dominant winner two back. Has the pedigree to run this trip out and with James McDonald aboard will get every possible. Can go one better here and will be in the finish. 

Sunsets has drawn wide but was good defeating Riff Rocket at Caulfield last time out. Is tactically versatile and if can find a handy spot midfield or just off the speed cam figure in the finish. 

Verdad was good enough last week at The Valley and comes here on the quick back up rock hard fit. Drawn well to wither jump and sit just behind the speed or roll forward and lead. Has been competitive in Group 1 grade and this has always been his grand final. Should be capable of running a race here. 

Kosgei has continued to improve this preparation with every run. Was good last start at Geelong behind Served Cold and will appreciate the rise in trip. If he doesn’t blow the start and can find a good spot midfield I feel he will be competitive at odds. 

On top hope is Apulia on the quick back up to defeat Riff Rocket with Sunsets in for third. Kosgei represents the best value and is one for the exotics. 

Empire Rose Stakes 

A mile Weight For Age contest for the fillies and mares in what is a very very open and competitive race. 

Wrote To Arataki was very good here two back when caught wide and was an impressive winner last start at Caulfield. Rises to a mile for the first time which shouldn’t be an issue and will be handy just behind the speed. Has a good record with Dean Yendall and at odds I think she’s capable of taking this out. 

Foxy Frida loves this trip and is racing well. Was good last start at Caulfield behind Wishlaw Lass who has since won again. Has won 3 times at the track and is another horse who I firmly believe is over the odds. Will be tucked up midfield and presenting late with what should be a genuinely ran race. Each way hope. 

Princess Grace has been honest without breaking through in this grade. Is a distance specialist placing in 7 from 8 attempts over the mile and has ran well at Flemington in the past. Will be just behind the speed and is a genuine place chance. 

Wishlor Lass continued to add to her picket fence last week at The Valley and is well placed and fit here. Will roll forward again and sit just behind the leaders giving her every possible chance. Is improving with every run and can figure in the finish again here. 

Atishu is a Flemington winner and has performed over this trip. Will drop back to last and will be flashing home late but just feel she’s too short in the market for this. 

Wrote To Arataki is my on top hope here with Foxy Frida in for second and Princess Grace in for third with the next best being Wishlor Lass. 



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