D-Day for Derby Colt; Weekend Preview

By Georgie Dennis

It’s been a long time coming but Visao will finally line-up in the VRC Derby this Saturday at Flemington.

The High Chaparral colt won a ticket straight into the feature Group 1 back in July and after a freshen up at the beach and three lead up runs, the team believe he is spot on the for the 2500m race for three-year-old colts and geldings.

The team were pleased with his run in the Caulfield Classic where he ran on nicely to finish fourth over 2000m and he has bounced back from that run very well.

We think he will relish the extra ground and while he has drawn awkwardly in barrier 13, over this trip we don’t think it will be an issue.

Damian Lane has retained the ride and we think he is a good each-way chance.

Earlier in the day, we have Yulong Meteor lining up in the 2000m Wakeful Stakes.

She was disappointing last start at Caulfield, but jockey Michael Walker reported that she switched off at the front of the field and didn’t chase so the team have put the blinkers on and she has worked tremendously in them.

Walker rides from barrier 12 and the team think she can run a good race ahead of the VRC Oaks on Thursday.

We then have the ever so brave but bitterly unlucky Bons Away taking on the Group 2 TAB Stakes over 1200m.

The track wasn’t playing to his advantage at Caulfield last start, but he still managed to run a gallant third and we think he is better suited to the 1200m.

He looks outstanding in the coat and has worked well this week and while he has drawn the outside gate, coming down the outside seems to be his favourite way to race so as long as he can get some cover in the run, we think he will run very well.

Michael Walker, who has done a bit of work on the 5YO gelding, will take the ride from barrier 13.

Our final runner at Flemington on Derby day is Aloisia who runs in the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes over 1600m.

This is her target race for this preparation and the team believe she is spot on to win.

She flashed home over 1400m at Caulfield last start and ran the quickest final two furlongs of the entire day so stepping up to the mile, of which she is already a Group 1 winner over, will be no issue.

It is a very tough race, but the team think she is back to her best and have rated her as our best chance of the day.

She will be ridden by Michael Walker from barrier 14.

Up north in Sydney, we have last start dead-heater Mask of Time running in the Lidoran Group Handicap over 1900m.

He was incredibly brave last start as he looked to be beaten numerous times down the straight, but he fought on to dead-heat with the clear favourite.

The import came through that run really well and we think we’ve found a weaker race that could see him got two in a row.

It’s a small field and he’s in good form so we are hopeful he will go close.

Glyn Schofield takes the ride from barrier four.

On Sunday we have Black Sail backing up from last Friday in the Peninsula Cup at Mornington over 1600m.

He was good last start at Moonee Valley and we think the quick turnaround will take the edge off him and allow him to settle a bit more in the run.

Damien Thornton will ride Black Sail from barrier eight.


*Yulong January is entered in the Carbine Club Stakes but the team are still deciding on whether or not he will run*