2018 Queensland Derby – Preview and Tips
Yes we’ve had all the drama surrounding the state of the Doomben track in recent weeks. As for this race – the Queensland Derby, the controversy is the nomination of three-year-old filly Youngstar in what is supposed to be a colts and geldings race. Put it this way, colts and geldings aren’t allowed to race in fillies only Oaks races, so why the double standard?
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Here’s the field as they line up for the 2018 Queensland Derby:
22213 1. Dark Dream (6), : T Clark, W: 57 Kgs, 5.50
47211 2. Heavenly Thought (1), J: B Rawiller, W: 57 Kgs, 6.00
02320 3. Tangled (5), J: M Walker, W: 57 Kgs, 17.00
10135 4. Mahamedeis (20), J: J Winks, W: 57 Kgs, 18.00
51222 5. Rezealient (17), J: Ms J Kah, W: 57 Kgs, 34.00
11630 6. California Turbo (13), J: C W Brown, W: 57 Kgs, 34.00
51211 7. Live And Free (12), J: J McDonald, W: 57 Kgs, 5.00
13132 8. Han Xin (18), J: M Zahra, W: 57 Kgs, 17.00
29185 9. Won Won Too (2), J: J Byrne, W: 57 Kgs, 67.00
15310 10. Almighty Crown (11), J: B Melham, W: 57 Kgs, 41.00
X1117 11. Lucky For All (19), : D Lane, W: 57 Kgs, 5.50
X5643 12. Merovee (15), J: B Shinn, W: 57 Kgs, 26.00
41081 13. Augustus (9), J: B Avdulla, W: 57 Kgs, 34.00
X5411 14. Banner Season (8), J: J Lloyd, W: 57 Kgs, 21.00
42324 15. Turnberry (14), J: D Browne, W: 57 Kgs, 91.00
31111 16. Youngstar (21), J: K McEvoy, W: 55 Kgs, 7.50
43121 17. Captivator (7), J: Tba, W: 57 Kgs, 101.00 (E)
32312 18. Ombudsman (16), J: G Schofield, W: 57 Kgs, 26.00 (E)
26178 19. Destiny'S Hero (3), J: Ms K O'Hara, W: 57 Kgs, 51.00 (E)
9x222 20. Surprise Bullet (10), J: Tba, W: 57 Kgs, 51.00 (E)
X1917 21. Bart (4), J: Ms J Taylor, W: 57 Kgs, 101.00 (E)
As mentioned above, race day this Saturday could make for interesting viewing. The day has been reduced to 8 races; the Queensland Derby being Race 7 on the card.
And as we continue to talk about Youngstar‘s acceptance. The last filly I know of to have won a Derby was Shamrocker back in the 2011 AJC Derby (as it was known then). But things have changed markedly in seven years, but the double standard still lingers.
As it turns out, Youngstar has the widest draw, and at this point is rated the fifth favourite on the SP for this years running of the Queensland Derby. With an expected wet track looming on race day (Thursday is currently a Soft 6, could go to a Soft 8), the Doomben track will be under close inspection after the chaos two weeks ago on Kingsford Smith Cup Day. Will we get a set of races completed and uninterrupted?
Let’s first look at two of the better credentialled Group 1 placegetters in Tangled and Rezealient. Both have placed in Derbies earlier in the season, both bring solid credentials into the race, the only uncertainty is the track conditions. Both are at longer odds which is a surprise to me. Do we have an amateur framing this market?
Even more surprising are the odds thrown at Sydney galloper Live And Free. He’s just broken maiden ranks, has won at benchmark 79 level and is rated at $5.00 on the SP? You gotta be joking! Sure, James McDonald is aboard but that’s not worth the price of admission. Next.
So too Lucky For All. Several weeks back he was winning benchmark 64 races, and now he’s $5.50 SP in a Group 1? Astounding.
I think the best form line for the Queensland Derby comes out of the Group 3 Grand Prix raced two weeks ago and won by Heavenly Thought. The Darren Weir galloper looked the goods that day, winning over 2200m, and defeating a handful of his rivals lining up on Saturday, including the plucky placegetters Han Xin and Dark Dream, plus Mahamedeis, California Turbo and Almighty Crown. The race was a bit of a bumping duel coming down the home stretch but the horse that had the turn of foot was the one that prevailed.
Yes, I’ll go with the Weir-trained Heavenly Thought based on his Grand Prix form line, throw in the Group performer Tangled for second, with the filly Youngstar for third. I’m not convinced that the filly can overcome the boys and race from a wide barrier draw, but if she does, you’d have to ask some questions.
Heavenly Thought, Tangled, Youngstar
At $34 SP, the Lindsay Park galloper Rezealient is the one I would be taking for longer odds.
Queensland Derby – check the odds on William Hill