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Sydney's premier trainer Chris Waller's take on the Group 1 $2 million Harrolds ATC Australian Derby (2400m) could also be interpreted as a reflection of day one of The Championships at Royal Randwick today.
"I've got a couple of runners that are around $21 in betting and they have good hopes of winning — it is that competitive,'' he said.
The Derby, which has attracted a capacity field of 18 runners, is one of the most open in years, with bookies betting $4.80 the field and Ace High the overnight favourite.
Waller's duo are Tangled, a $16 chance, and former New Zealander The Lord Mayor at $26. Both ran in the Rosehill Guineas two weeks ago when Tangled ran second (on protest) and The Lord Mayor 11th.
"Tangled produced a brilliant run in the Rosehill Guineas, a race in which we expected him to step up," Waller said. "The draw looks OK for him. If he can settle midfield and switch off he will be there in the finish.
"I watched a replay of The Lord Mayor and he was posted wide, got overracing and was checked at the 200n but still closed the race off well.
"He does have a bad draw and we are going to need a lot of luck. I'll be counting on Corey Brown's expertise.''
Waller's decision to run Rosehill Guineas winner D'Argento in the Doncaster Mile has thrown the Derby wide open, according to form guru Gary Crispe.
But Crispe felt the effort of Ace High to run sixth in the Guineas after enduring such a tough, wide passage was arguably the run of the race.
"Ace High was trapped deep from a middle draw but stuck on gamely to finish just behind the placegetters,'' he said.
"He is sure to appreciate the firmer surface (today) and has been set for this race since winning the Victoria Derby in spring. I expect he will get a far more economical run in transit this time around."
Crispe also nominated New Zealand Derby winner Vin De Dance — second over the line in the Rosehill Guineas before being relegated to fourth on protest — as one of the hardest to beat.
"His performance was very good dropping back in trip and he is sure to relish going back to 2400m," Crispe said.
Furore was the unlucky runner in the Rosehill Guineas, gaining third on protest, but he should have at least finished second but for suffering interference in the straight.
Crispe said Furore's progression from a debut maiden win at Taree to be a leading contender in the Derby in just one preparation is remarkable.
The Championships are the Grand Finals of racing and TAB is getting in on the action with the TAB Tipping Champion promotion which starts today. For TAB Account holders it is simple to play. Just log into your TAB Account and pick a runner from each of the 10 races today before 11.30am.
It is free to play and with every selection you receive a virtual $10 each way bet.
Virtual winnings will be calculated at the end of each race and the TAB customer with the highest amount at the end of the day will win $100,000. If there are multiple leading tipsters the pot will be shared equally.
Then one leading tipster will be randomly drawn and be required to tip the winner of the TAB nominated race on Day Two of The Championships at Royal Randwick on April 14. If their tip wins, they'll win a cool $1 million.
Article taken from Daily Telegraph, published Saturday 7th April 2018, Author, Ray Thomas, Page 41.