Three of the top rated chances for Saturday’s $1.5 million Victoria Derby will get an early look at each other after drawing wide in consecutive barriers.
Favourite It’s A Dundeel has drawn barrier 10 which is one barrier inside Super Cool (11) who upset him in the Mitchelton Wines Vase on the weekend and one barrier outside Norman Robinson Stakes winner Hvasstan (9).
It’s A Dundeel appeared to have both the Mitchelton Wines Vase and the Derby at his mercy before arriving at Moonee Valley on Saturday but could not catch Super Cool when delivering a late charge from his customary position at the back of the field.
The Murray Baker-trained colt was previously unbeaten from five starts and his shock defeat has opened up the Derby.
Super Cool is an obvious contender as is Hvasstan who has won three times and scored two minor placings since debuting in August.
Consistent gelding Honorius, who placed behind It’s A Dundeel twice in Sydney and was second in the Norman Robinson Stakes, has received an early favour with a barrier two draw.
Also receiving luck at the barrier draw was Tony McEvoy-trained colt Jimando, with jockey Matthew Neilson afforded plenty of options from barrier six.
There was speculation that in-form Sydney gelding Fiveandahalfstar would miss the race but trainer Anthony Cummings accepted for the son of Hotel Grand this morning and he is set to be ridden by Damien Oliver from barrier five.
The bad barrier draw luck for trainer Gai Waterhouse has continued with her sole runner Our Desert Warrior drawing barrier 13 in the 16 horse field.