It’s that time of year again and Derby Day is upon us tomorrow with a great line up of runners on the card for OTI and its partners.
Kicking off the weekend is San Remo at Moonee Valley this evening in the BM70 over 2500m. Drawing well in barrier one with Declan Bates on board, Archie Alexander is looking forward to seeing the horse relish the distance and believes he is in fine form coming into the race. Running third last start at Ballarat, San Remo has enjoyed a nice break between runs so we are looking to see him work strongly to the line.
Saturday’s Derby Day at Flemington, Melbourne begins with Gallic Chieftain in race 4 for the Group 3 Hotham Cup where he will be ridden by Damian Lane. Jumping from barrier five in a field of thirteen he has been well prepared by trainer Darren Weir, having had the opportunity to gallop on the course proper at Camperdown to complete his final piece of work. Working in company, he put in a solid performance ready for his assignment this weekend.
Aloisia looks set for the task in the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes over a mile, a target race for her this campaign. She is back with a vengeance this preparation and is looking to rise to the challenge in overcoming her wide barrier. With Michael Walker back in the saddle for what will be a tough task, there looks to be nice speed in the race and trainer Ciaron Maher is hoping to see Aloisia settle mid field throughout and finish off strongly.
Later in the day, both Tom Melbourne and Fastnet Tempest take on a strong field in the Group 1 Kennedy Mile. Due to drawing a wide gate, Hugh Bowman’s intention is to get Tom Melbourne to roll forward and dictate the tempo or sit in the first few amongst the speed. This will allow him to have the best chance to remain competitive. Fastnet Tempest backs up this weekend after last week’s 2nd place in the Sale Cup after running less than a length from the QLD raider Doubt Defying. A slight gear change by the Hayes stable, adjusting Fastnet Tempest’s blinkers to visors, to enable him to see his competitors approach from behind and ensure he attacks the line strongly.
At Newcastle, in New South Wales, Seven Falls is Looking to break his maiden status here in Australia, running in the 4yo and up maiden plate over 1850. Trainer Bjorn Baker is pleased with his work of late and is looking forward to seeing him step up in distance. Drawing barrier eleven of eleven the horse is expected to roll forward given the limited pace in the race. He should be highly competitive and we hope to see a convincing finish.
To the city, Le Juge is stepping out at Rosehill in his first start for Chris Waller this preparation. He trialled on Tuesday at Randwick over 1000m to sharpen him up for this weekend’s campaign debut and finished full of running. Under 53kg and drawing well in barrier one, we expect to see Jay Ford providing the horse an economical run throughout before working home to the line.
Last but not least, OTI will have Dusk Falls in the country Victoria Mortlake Cup. A 2000m task, Darren Weir believes he is fit enough to take up the running in the race and lead the field from barrier seven of ten. A horse that likes to race on pace and be ridden forward, we hope to see a positive ride from Jacob Rule.
Best of luck to all connections with horses running at Flemington and beyond!