A talented field of 18 has been confirmed to line up for this weekend’s major Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm Racecourse, highlighted by several notable performers throughout the 2014 racing calendar so-far.
Strolling home to win the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) last time out, Vilanova has been confirmed for the 2014 Queensland Derby, but will have to overcome the awkward barrier 15 if to justify favouritism this weekend.
Claiming three victories and seven places from 22 competitive race starts so-far, Vilanova has developed a name as a rather inconsistent performer; blowing away competition one week and unable to match the pace the next.
Appearing to have overcome this issue over his four most-recent starts however, the Commands gelding has steadily built to the task at hand; finishing fifth in the Group 2 Nathan Berry Tulloch Stakes (2000m), third amongst classy competition in the Dunkirk 3.y.o+ (1600m) and fourth in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) prior to the Grand Prix Stakes.
Confirmed to be partnered by leading jockey Nash Rawiller once more this weekend, Vilanova will need to find an extra gear if to overcome a talented field that also includes Telepathic.
A standout performer in her native New Zealand, Telepathic finished worse than second just once in her maiden preparation throughout the spring of 2013, and has returned to racing in even stronger form this season.
Claiming both the Lindauer 3.y.o Open (1200m) and Governor General’s Cup (1600m) prior to making the trip across the ditch, the Mossman filly was unlucky to finish second to fellow Queensland Derby acceptor Amexed in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) on May 10th before running on from the rear of the field to finish fifth in the Grand Prix Stakes last time out.
Charged with overcoming the awkward barrier 16, jockey Mark Du Plessis has been confirmed to make the trip from New Zealand to partner Telepathic this weekend and is confident of seeing the three-year-old to a maiden victory at the highest level of racing on Saturday.
A member of in-form trainer Tony Gollan’s arsenal, Amexed has burst into contention as a leading chance in the 2014 Queensland Derby this season; finishing third amongst classy competition in the Bundaberg Distilling Co. Maiden (1300m) first-up before claiming back-to-back victories in the Strata Unit Underwriters Maiden (1600m) and Rough Habit Plate.
Running on for fourth in the Grand Prix Stakes last time out, Gollan is confident regular jockey Michael Rodd will get the most from his sole Derby entrant from barrier 11.
Charging home to finish second in the Grand Prix, Pinstripe Lane has reportedly taken well to work over the past week and will be offered a great chance of success with champion jockey Damien Oliver confirmed to take the ride.
Securing two race wins and two places from just eleven competitive starts so far, Pinstripe Lane has undoubtedly hit peak condition leading into the Queensland Derby; strolling home to be a talented field in the Rexel 3.y.o (1900m) on May 10th before running from the rear of the pack to finish second last time out.
Yet to saddle a Group 1 winner, trainer Troy Corstens is confident the Pins colt displays all the makings of a drought breaker this weekend.
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2014 Queensland Derby Final Field
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||4202×3114||AMEXED (NZ)||Tony Gollan||Michael Rodd||11||57kg||87|
|2||3377165341||VILANOVA (NZ)||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||15||57kg||93|
|3||1885×11353||RUDY||Helen Page||Hugh Bowman||20||57kg||85|
|4||51430×0412||PINSTRIPE LANE (NZ)||Troy Corstens||Damien Oliver||9||57kg||78|
|5||112×091403||HAPPY AS HELL||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Dwayne Dunn||12||57kg||75|
|6||85165×6118||BRING BACK||Mark Ashby||Glen Boss||3||57kg||72|
|7||57x4x3121||SONNTAG||Henry Dwyer||Chad Schofield||7||57kg||70|
|8||8×67333212||OUTSTRIP||Brad Herne||Brad Stewart||6||57kg||60|
|9||3925941607||TAKEWING||Jason Coyle||Blake Shinn||2||57kg||66|
|10||4105200×10||COLONEL CARRERA (NZ)||Graeme & Debbie Rogerson||–||19||57kg||75|
|11||53122||ELUSIVE RUNNER||John Sargent||Tommy Berry||1||57kg||68|
|12||8841531||POP ’N’ SCOTCH||John P Thompson||Ryan Wiggins||13||57kg||62|
|13||581×071149||OUR UNCLE ARCHIE||Steve Englebrecht||Damian Browne||17||57kg||67|
|14||51500×2101||METEOROLOGIST||Marcus Wilson||Jim Byrne||18||57kg||65|
|15||07×3892216||AUBERGE||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||8||57kg||66|
|16||23113×64||ROCK DIVA (NZ)||Tony Pike||Zac Purton||14||55kg||83|
|17||212x5x1125||TELEPATHIC (NZ)||Donna Logan||Mark Du Plessis||16||55kg||80|
|19e||31×3223||LEVER LEVER (NZ)||Matthew Dunn||–||5||57kg||64|
|20e||317×982||DECKHAND (NZ)||Michael Moroney||–||4||57kg||63|