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Wilkes-trained McCraken in Kentucky Derby

Australian expat trainer Ian Wilkes is pinning his upcoming Kentucky Derby hopes on three-year-old colt McCraken.

Wilkes-trained McCraken in Kentucky Derby

Australian expat trainer Ian Wilkes is pinning his upcoming Kentucky Derby hopes on three-year-old colt McCraken.

* Expat Ian Wilkes aims to become the first Australian to train the winner of the upcoming Kentucky Derby with three-year-old colt McCracken Horseform

* Wilkes grew up on a dairy farm in northern NSW, left school at the age of 16, and during the 1980s worked under Australian trainers Paul Sutherland, Vic Thompson and Colin Hayes


* In 1989, Wilkes moved to Kentucky to work for Carl Nafzger. Wilkes became the track work rider for Unbridled, who won the Derby and Breeders' Cup Classic in 1990

* Wilkes returned home for three years but in 1993 went back to Kentucky and became Nafzger's top assistant

* In 2006, Wilkes took over the bulk of Nafzger's stable when the veteran went into semi-retirement

* Wilkes' first solo Grade One winner was Capt Candyman Can in the 2009 King's Bishop Stakes in Saratoga Springs, New York

* In total, Wilkes has trained more than 500 winners, including Fort Larned in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic

* McCraken is the 5-1 joint second favourite for the Derby


AAP



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