This Saturday as part of the bumper line-up at Eagle Farm’s AAMI Stradbroke Handicap Day, a field of the nation’s best three-year-olds will take to the track in the $500,000 Group 1 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m).
A capacity field of 18 starters plus four emergencies has been named for the Sunshine State’s most prestigious three-year-olds event including Redoute’s Choice filly Dariana.
Trained by the legendary Bart Cummings, Dariana bungled the start in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) last Saturday. Her poor gate manners saw her reach her head into the adjacent barrier as the gates were released, and despite never leaving the stalls she was declared a starter.
It was a devastating blow for the improving young filly who will be looking to atone in the Derby. Having come up trumps in the barrier draw for Saturday with gate one, Dariana looks well positioned to reach her potential and win.
Bart Cummings also has his Grand Prix Stakes third placegetter Landlord starting from barrier 13 in the Derby, alongside stablemate Brightnight in gate 14.
The surprise winner of the Queensland Oaks was Kiwi filly Miss Keepsake. The Andrew Scott-trained daughter of Keeper has now won her past three races in succession and has also drawn well in the Derby with barrier six. After starting in the Oaks at $31, there is little chance she will be at such generous odds again on Saturday.
Another Queensland Oaks runner returning to Eagle Farm for the Derby is runner-up Marheta. Trained by Flemington-based mentor Michael Moroney, the Al Maher filly took out the Group 3 Doomben Roses (2020m) before her eye-catching performance in the Oaks, and despite drawing poorly with barrier 21 is still a top contender for Saturday.
Another favourite three-year-old heading into Saturday’s Queensland Derby is Kutchinsky.
The Tony Noonan-trained Anabaa gelding is coming off a last start win in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben and despite drawing wider than preferred with barrier 10 still has plenty of claims.
Other top Derby contenders include The Hombre who won the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2200m) on protest at Doomben in May 15 and was only narrowly beaten by Kutchinsky in the Grand Prix Stakes last weekend, and the Patrick Payne-trained Fieldmaster in barrier four.
The highlight event at Eagle Farm on Saturday is the $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) featuring the Mark Kavanagh-trained Whobegotyou and stablemate to Queensland Derby favourite Kutchinsky, Ortensia.
Other major races to be held at the Brisbane Winter Carnival’s final meeting include the $500,000 Group 1 T J Smith (1600m) for two-year-olds, the $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m), and the $250,000 Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m). Check out the final field and previews for all these great events at Eagle Farm Races.
The 2010 Queensland Derby is scheduled to jump at 3:30pm on Saturday, and Ladbrokes.com.au has all the odds.
2010 Channel Seven Queensland Derby Final Field & Barrier Draw:
|Kelly Doughty||Jason Holder||9||56|
SIR TIME KEEPER (NZ)
|Graeme Nicholson||David Walsh||3||56|
|Tony Noonan||Craig Newitt||10||56|
|John Bary||Jonathan Riddell||18||56|
|John Wheeler||Hugh Bowman||16||56|
|Tim Martin||Tye Angland||22||56|
|Bart Cummings||Damien Oliver||13||56|
|Danny O’Brien||Nash Rawiller||5||56|
|Robert Heathcote||Shane Scriven||8||56|
|Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||19||56|
ROCKET TO RIO (NZ)
LET THEM HAVE IT
|Kevin Moses||Corey Brown||17||56|
|Patrick Payne||Danny Brereton||4||56|
|Bart Cummings||Blake Shinn||14||56|
MISS KEEPSAKE (NZ)
|Andrew Scott||Chris Munce||6||54|
|Michael Moroney||Mark Zahra||21||54|
|Bart Cummings||Michael Rodd||1||54|
MOTHER’S MILK (NZ)
|John P Thompson||–||7||54|
FACE THE FRONT
|Bevan & Richard Laming||Danny Nikolic||11||56|
|John P Thompson||–||2||54|