Derby day tomorrow marks the start of the four-day Melbourne Cup meeting.
The Victoria Derby’s importance has declined over several years attracting fewer good class staying prospects. It’s a sad reflection on the breeding industry geared mainly to provide sprinters and milers.
No surprise not one Australian bred horse is among the first 11 in Melbourne Cup betting.
The Derby winner often comes from placegetters in the Norman Robinson Classic at Caulfield and the Moonee Valley Vase. This puts Tangled, Main Stage and Salsamor in contention.
Tangled also finished second in the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick won by Ace High with Sully third.
Astoria raced wide when fifth at Randwick and followed up with a third in the Geelong Classic conceding 2kg to the winner and runner-up. His trainer James Cummings won last year’s Derby with Prized Icon.
Selections: Astoria, Tangled, Main Stage.
An already wide open Melbourne Cup gained another contender when Humidor improved on his Caulfield Cup fifth to give Winx a scare in the Cox Plate. He has to contend with last year’s winner Almandin and a strong international contingent.
Marmelo, Johannes Vermeer and Wall Of Fire have impressed while Red Cardinal, Tiberian and Thomas Hobson must be respected despite not racing here.
Red Cardinal’s trainer and jockey know what is required to win the Cup. Andreas Wohler won with Protectionist and Kerrin McEvoy won on Brew and Almandin.
Cup selections: Red Cardinal, Marmelo, Thomas Hobson.
Hi Suppose, Wide Open Road and Villainous picked up third placings on their home track at Echuca.
Hi Suppose, a Mildura Maiden winner in July, resumed in the Class 1 (1100m) won by Melbourne filly Purely Royal.
Wrapsody won the Maiden (1000m) by six lengths and there should be more success for this filly.
Jerilderie three year-old Mr Brown Fox was a decisive winner in the Maiden (900m) at Albury for Phil and Brooke Sweeney.
There was local interest at Hamilton with El Rada resuming in the Benchmark 70 (1100m). The mare reached the lead in the straight only to be run down by Falcool in the last 50m.
Follow - Property: Won three of his five starts in first preparation including two at Group level; resumed with fourth against older sprinters at Caulfield.
Coming winners: Kaonic earned a start at Flemington with Randwick win at his third start.
Boorooj was impressive winning Seymour Maiden.
Bring Me Roses produced a strong finish for Flemington win at her fourth start.
Star Major was spelled after decisive Sale Maiden win in June and returned with third at Geelong.
They race at Balranald and Berrigan today, Echuca on Tuesday.