Front running colt Thinkin’ Big doesn’t have to lead to win the Group 1 $2m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Thinkin’ Big has scored all the way wins in two off his last three starts but jockey Tim Clark said that the High Chaparral colt doesn’t necessarily have to dictate the pace out in front to be first past the post in the Blue Riband for the three year olds.
Clark has been regular rider of the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained colt and rated Thinkin’ Big to perfection first up to win the Group 3 $200,000 360DMG Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill on September 22.
Clark then had Thinkin’ Big on the pace when third in the Group 1 $500,000 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 6 followed by another all the way win in the Group 3 $350,000 Ladbrokes Classic (2000m) at Caulfield a fortnight ago.
“Thinkin’ Big is very uncomplicated, he’s easy to ride, and we don’t have to lead,’’ Clark told The Daily Telegragh.
“It will depend on how much pressure there is early. I don’t want to be in a speed duel going 2500m for the first time but he will be up there in a prominent position.’’
“He pricks his ears and relaxes well in his races,’’ Clark said. “He conserves energy which will help him run out the trip.
“They are all going there for the first time but until they do it you never really know but he will give himself the chance to run it out. It will also depend on what sort of run he gets in the race. If we get a nice run I’m sure he will be strong late.’’
Thinkin’ Big has drawn barrier nine in the original draw but will jump from seven if both the emergencies fail to gain a start in the Victoria Derby and is the current $3.30 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au and co-trainer Gai Waterhouse said that if the High Chaparral colt wins, the stable will accept to run in the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday.
“I’ve spoken with the owners, spoken with (co-trainer) Adrian (Bott) and we’re on the same page; if the colt is happy and healthy and well after the Derby, yes, we would accept (for the Cup),” Waterhouse told RSN927’s TAB Super Morning.
“He’s getting more seasoned, he’s still basically an immature horse, but he’s a lovely horse. He doesn’t waste any time or energy, he just does what he has to do.”
Thinkin’ Big is currently the last horse in the order of entry for the Melbourne Cup with only 49kg but Racing Victoria’s Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter said that if he won the Victoria Derby he would pass the first qualifying clause and will get into the final twenty-four horse field of the famous two miler because his rating would go up considerably.