Australian Derby: Preferment attempts to join the greats   Leave a comment

Australian Derby: Preferment attempts to join the greats

Preferment chases Derby double

Trainer Chris Waller with the spoils after the win by Preferment last November. Picture: Colleen PetchSource: News Corp Australia

Preferment will be elevated to greatness if he can successfully complete the Victoria Derby-Australian Derby double at Randwick this afternoon.

He will enter a club that includes Phar Lap, Dulcify, Manfred, Mahogany, Alister, Poseidon, Reading and Rampion.

What will distinguish Preferment from the very best in that group is that the two classics will be the only races he has won.

A maiden when victorious at Flemington in November, he has not won a race since. With the exception of Dulcify and Mahogany, the others who captured the double did so in the same campaign as both races were run in the spring until 1977.

Trainer Chris Waller thinks Preferment is a better horse now than he was four months ago.

“He’s just come of age this preparation. He’s a better horse now than he was in the spring, but he might well need to be,’’ Waller said.

‘‘It’s a pretty good field. There are some proven distance horses and horses in form. It’s not going to be easy but you don’t expect Group I races to be easy. I wouldn’t swap him for any other horse in the field,’’ the premier trainer said on RSN radio.

Preferment showed he is on target for the blue riband with a narrow defeat in the Rosehill Guineas (2000m), with NZ Derby runner-up Volkstok’n’barrell getting the better of him.

Stepping up to 2400m, Preferment gets the chance to turn the stables. Waller will not tie down jockey Damien Oliver to instructions, as he well knows the horse’s capabilities.

Waller has a second runner in the race, Quick Strike, and the three-year-old with the extravagant action of a likely stayer is tipped to run out the journey strongly.

The trainer said that, not unlike the Melbourne Cup, he doesn’t worry about form so long as they can stay. He likened the son of High Chaparral to Preferment coming into the Victoria Derby.

“Being by High Chaparral you’d expect him to stay and let’s hope we’re talking about him on Sunday,’’ Waller said.

New Zealand Derby winner Mongolian Khan was a bit disappointing in his Australian debut in the Rosehill Guineas, but on the bigger Randwick circuit and with soft conditions he may be open to improvement. Trained by Murray Baker, Mongolian Khan is unbeaten in four starts on slow and heavy tracks.

The James and Bart Cummings-trained Ruling Dynasty had a hoof abscess earlier this week, but it responded to a poultice and quickly burst. He remains on target to start.

Ruling Dynasty made ground to finish fifth to Hauraki in the Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill. Hauraki is challenging Preferment for favouritism today.

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Posted April 4, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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