An exciting field of 97 has been nominated for an appearance in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm Racecourse on June 7th, highlighted by several noted performers over the autumn season.
Arguably reaching career best form over her two most recent starts, trainer David Vandyke has elected to nominate Arabian Gold for the 2014 Queensland Derby.
Amassing an impressive record of seven wins and two places from only 16 competitive starts, Arabian Gold contested a particularly strong 2013 spring preparation; finishing no worse than second over her first five appearances before displaying a keen turn of foot to run on from the rear of the field and finish fourth in the Group 1 Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) on October 5th.
Finishing fifth amongst classy company in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) first-up this season, the Dubawi filly was unable to figure in either of the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) Group 3 Keith F Nolan Classic (1600m) but returned to winning form when taking advantage of the heavy going on the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) on April 5th, and solidifying her tag as one of the country’s most exciting staying prospects when finishing nearly two lengths in the clear of fellow Queensland Derby nominee Pheidon in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate last time out.
Finishing outside the places just once in seven career starts so far, Pheidon has fast shot to the forefront of the up-and-coming Australian staying community.
Strolling home to win the Carlton Cold Handicap (1350m) on debut, Pheidon quickly built to the task over three proceeding starts in minor events, breaking through for a maiden win a Group level when storming home to win the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) on March 14th by nearly two lengths.
Unlucky to finish second behind Arabian Gold when blocked for a run in the early straight of the Frank Packer Plate, trainer Gai Waterhouse has an understandably high opinion of the Al Maher gelding as is confident of leaving Brisbane one Queensland Derby crown richer.
Also included in nominations for the 2014 Queensland Derby is in-form runner Gamblin’ Guru.
Claiming four wins and five places over his 14 race starts to date, Gamblin’ Guru has well and truly upped his workload and resulting form streak this season; following up an unfortunate fall in the Listed CS Hayes Memorial Cup (1600m) on March 10th with a strong run for second in the Adelaide Galvanising Maiden (1600m) before securing back-to-back victories in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) and Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2000m) most recently.
Confirmed to line up for this weekend’s (May 3rd ) Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m), Gamblin’ Guru is a leading chance to head north of the border on the back of an impressive hat-trick of victories.
Yet to contest an event outside of either his native South Australia or Victoria, trainer Leon Macdonald is confident the New Approach gelding with hold his own on the varied Brisbane tracks this winter, and is confident in success in the 2014 Queensland Derby.
Unable to hit peak condition over five autumn starts, trainer Anthony Cummings has decided to extend three-year-old Surge Ahead’s current preparation through the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, which has included a nomination in the 2014 Queensland Derby.
A standout performer in his maiden preparation last spring, the Danehill Dancer claimed three wins from four starts including the Listed Connoisseur Stakes (1800m) on November 7th.
Claiming a fast-finishing sixth in the Group 1 Australian Derby (1600m) most notably this time in, Cummings is confident the firmer tracks synonymous with Brisbane will suit Surge Ahead over winter.
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2014 Queensland Derby Nominations
|2||ALAKRIS (NZ)||Mick Price|
|3||ALL HOST||Les Kelly|
|4||ALWAYS A GIBBERER||John P Thompson|
|5||AMEXED (NZ)||Tony Gollan|
|6||AND GOD SAID YES||Gwenda Markwell|
|7||ARABIAN GOLD||David Vandyke|
|9||ASADAUSKAITE (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|12||BEST CASE (NZ)||Anthony Cummings|
|13||BODEGA NEGRA||Bruce W Hill|
|14||CADILLAC MOUNTAIN||Peter G Moody|
|15||CAT’S MIAOW||Louise White|
|16||COLONEL CARRERA (NZ)||Graeme Rogerson|
|17||CRIME FIGHTER||Peter G Moody|
|18||DARCI MAGIC (NZ)||Bede Murray|
|19||DECKHAND (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|21||DOUBLE EAGLE||David Payne|
|22||ELECTRIC DEE JAY (NZ)||Bryce Heys|
|23||ELUSIVE RUNNER||John Sargent|
|24||EMERALD CITY||David Vandyke|
|25||EMPIRE ROCK||David Hayes|
|26||EVERY FAITH||Robert Smerdon|
|27||FAIRYTALE BELLE||Steven O’dea|
|29||FASTNET FLYER||Paul Murray|
|30||GAMBLIN’ GURU||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas|
|31||GLORIOUS LAD (NZ)||Shaune Ritchie|
|34||GREAT ESTEEM||David Hayes|
|35||HALO SHINE||Paul Jenkins|
|36||HAPPY AS HELL||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan|
|37||HERA (NZ)||Kris Lees|
|38||HEY SHAZAM||Carmen Murnane|
|39||HONEY STEEL’S GOLD||David Hayes|
|40||I AM TITANIUM||David Hayes|
|41||IRISH MEDLEY (NZ)||Matt Laurie|
|42||KATIE’S COVE||Roger James|
|43||KAYNO||Noel J Doyle|
|44||KAZOOM (NZ)||Kurt Goldman|
|45||KEPT WOMAN (NZ)||Peter G Moody|
|46||LADY TATIA||Peter G Moody|
|48||LAST WISH (NZ)||Guy Walter|
|49||LE RASOIR (NZ)||Pat Carey|
|50||LEVER LEVER (NZ)||Matthew Dunn|
|51||MAGICAL STANCE||Darren Smith|
|52||MAN OF COLOURS||Gwenda Markwell|
|54||MEADOW DREAMER||Noel J Doyle|
|56||MISS HUFFLEPUFF||Chris Waller|
|57||MORE REWARDING||Mick Price|
|58||MUTAJARA||Peter G Moody|
|59||ORDER OF THE SUN||Gai Waterhouse|
|60||OUR UNCLE ARCHIE||Steve Englebrecht|
|62||PANTUO (NZ)||Chris Hyland|
|63||PARDON MOI (NZ)||John Sargent|
|66||PINSTRIPE LANE (NZ)||Troy Corstens|
|67||POSTNTHYME (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|68||PRESIDENT’S CUP||Lionel Cohen|
|69||PRINCE OF BELAIRE||Chris Anderson|
|70||RAZZLE DAZZLE ROCK||David Hayes|
|71||RED CLIFFS||Michael Moroney|
|73||RIVIERA RICHES||Matt Laurie|
|74||ROCBOLT (NZ)||Bevan Laming|
|75||ROCK DIVA (NZ)||Tony Pike|
|76||ROCK SCENT||Kelly Schweida|
|77||ROVING RED||Gerald Ryan|
|80||SAGUARO (NZ)||Peter G Moody|
|81||SANCERRE (NZ)||Tony Pike|
|83||SEA RED||Robert Heathcote|
|84||SIR LASZLO (NZ)||Grahame Begg|
|85||SOLOMON’S BOLT||Michael Moroney|
|87||STAR FASHION||David Hayes|
|88||STELLARIZED||Peter G Moody|
|89||STREET TYCOON||Bart & James Cummings|
|90||SURGE AHEAD||Anthony Cummings|
|91||SURGING WAVE||David Hayes|
|92||SYNTHETIC (NZ)||Robert Smerdon|
|93||TEAR GAS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien|
|94||TELEPATHIC (NZ)||Donna Logan|
|95||TOTAL RESPONSE (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|97||VILANOVA (NZ)||Chris Waller|