Victoria Derby Tips - Weir chasing first Derby win

  • Expert Victoria Derby tips
  • Who will win the Flemington feature?
Dean Yendall riding Savoie winning the AAMI Victoria Derby Trial at Flemington

If we can get three things right in the analysis of Saturday’s Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) field, we should be able to find the winner.

With the exception of the two emergencies, every runner comes through either the Geelong Classic (2200m), the Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) or the Ladbrokes Classic (2000m).

So, in order to find the winner, we need to firstly establish which is the strongest form race, secondly, identify the best runs in each race, and finally, predict who can bring that last start form to Flemington over 2500m.

The last part will be the hardest as 80 percent of this field simply won’t stay the trip – it’s the same case every year and we won’t truly know until after the race.

I have some doubts about the Geelong Classic form where there wasn’t much between Home Ground (1st) and Farooq (2nd), while Grinzinger Star was less impressive back in 3rd.

Farooq finished seven lengths from Extra Brut in the UCI Stakes (1800m), and Extra Brut was six lengths from Thinkin’ Big in the Ladbrokes Classic.

Grinzinger Star had won his maiden prior to that run, and Home Ground finished seven lengths from Maid Of Heaven and Aramayo in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), while Thinkin’ Big was 2.5 lengths back in 3rd.

So, I’m willing to dismiss the Geelong Classic as ‘the best form race’ and concentrate on the other two. 

Without a doubt, Thinkin’ Big was the most impressive run in the Ladbrokes Classic, but was it the slow early tempo that made him looks so good. 

Thinkin’ Big clocked a very leisurely 52.23 from the 1800m to the 1000m mark.

In comparison, Savoie went 47.63 at the same stage of the race in the Moonee Valley Vase which is approximately 27 lengths quicker in that early part of the race. 

Cloak and Thunderdome who sat 1st and 3rd in the run, weakened to finish 13 and 10 lengths off the pace respectively while Savoie kept kicking strongly and was narrowly beaten in a photo finish. 

Thinkin’ Big really stacked them up in his event, but he still booted clear off the slow pace instead of just grinding away.

I don’t think Savoie had any right to keep kicking the way he did, and if he can get the Derby trip, he’s my on top selection.

Breeding is concern as he’s by Ilovethiscity and out of the Street Cry mare Larissar – who sire and dam where most effective over 1600m and that is a concern.

However, I’ve seen Darren Weir stretch these types out to win staying events many times, and I’m certainly not second-guessing the master trainer. 

Weir did it in the SA Derby (2500m) this year with Leicester who was by Group 1-winning sprinter Wanted, and out of the Galileo mare Defy The Odds.

There is some staying blood on Savoie’s sire’s side with Ilovethiscity being out of Kensington Rose whose grand dam is Sir Tristram. 

The way he was still powering through the line off a hot speed last start gives me every confidence he’ll see out the 2500m journey, and from barrier 17, his hand is forced and Dean Yendall will have to go forward and try and lead from Thinkin’ Big.


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Victoria Derby Tips - Weir chasing first Derby win

If we can get three things right in the analysis of Saturday’s Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) field, we should be able to find the winner.

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