A talented field of three-year-old stayers has been confirmed for Saturday’s 2016 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm Racecourse; offering punters exceptional value from a betting standpoint and several key opportunities to place a winning wager.
Howard Be Thy Name has been backed into outright favouritism in 2016 Queensland Derby betting markets with Ladbrokes.com.au, ahead of Mackintosh ($4.50), Eagle Way ($5) and Godolphin runner Eschiele ($7.50).
Will Howard Be Thy Name justify favouritism and win the 2016 Queensland Derby or will one of his talented rivals find the line in the clear?
Howard Be Thy Name ($4.40)
Howard Be Thy Name is arguably the class horse of the 2016 Queensland Derby field, is drawn ideally in barrier 2 and should simply prove too hard to beat this weekend. Running a close second in the Listed Tasmanian Derby (2200m) on February 5th, the Redoute’s Choice colt returned to the mainland and winning form in the Racing.com BM70 (1600m) before posting his first black type win in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) on April 16th. Repeating the dose in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2020m), Howard Be Thy Name produced a huge late effort to win the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2400m) on May 14th. Having attacked the line for third in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben a fortnight ago, Howard Be Thy Name will relish a return to a mile and a half and will again be partnered by Brad Rawiller.
Godolphin stayer Etymology has returned to typically strong form recently and has so-far received the greatest market share of bets for success in the Queensland Derby; cutting in from a quote of $26 to currently figure as clear $9.50 market mover. Capping a strong 2015 campaign second in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m), Etymology required a couple of runs to find form upon resuming this time but clearly relished a step up in distance when sixth in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) third-up. Progressing to fifth in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m), the New Approach colt has since placed second in each of the Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) and South Australian Derby.
Encosta Line ($9.50)
Encosta Line is yet to make an appearance amongst black type company, but the classy Chris Waller-trained gelding carries strong form into the Queensland Derby and is offered the notable advantage of having leading hoop Hugh Bowman in the saddle. Placing second in the Hyland Race Colours Plate (1600m) on March 23rd, the Encosta De Lago gelding was completely luckless in his next start at Warwick Farm on April 6th but has since placed second in the More Than Winning BM69 (1550m) and won the More Than Ready BM75 (1900m); the latter by more than four lengths.
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