Thinkin Big VRC Derby

The Spring Carnival heads to Flemington this Saturday for Day 1 of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Derby Day is widely credited as the best days racing for the year in Australia and as is custom punters have been set a task with big fields and wide open betting races.

SportChamps have been coming to the party this Sprint Carnival and it looks like this week will be no different. Not only are they offering a guaranteed $25,000 prize pool for their Saturday racing contest featuring Flemington and Rosehill, but they have a special $20,000 contest to be run across the four days of the Flemington carnival. Combine that with their regular contests and the usual offerings on TopBetta and MoneyBall and tournament players look set for an exciting week of racing!

Once again we go to where all the action is at Flemington for our meeting preview.

Looking for a best bet on the program I think you can head to The Wakeful Stakes (Race 2) for the 3yo fillies and the Darren Weir trained Verry Elleegant. She was a very impressive winner at Caulfield last start over the same distance as Saturdays race and this looks no harder. She was one of the only horses to win from back in the field that day and the wide open spaces of Flemington should suit her even more. If she settles well for jockey John Allen then it is hard to see her being beat. She is currently $2.05 with Sportsbet.

As it is a day of big fields and open races there is plenty of horses that look to have great winning chances at double figure odds. Two that particularly stand out are Havasay in Race 3 and Quilista in Race 9. Havasay was held up at a vital stage last start in a better race than this at Caulfield. He has a good record 2nd up and leading jockey Craig Williams has the ride. He is currently $15 with Neds. Quilista hasnt had much go right this prep and battled on well last start after a tough run. Her run before that was down the straight like Saturday and she just tired late after setting a fast speed in front. She drops back to mares grade here and is already a winner down the straight. She is currently $18 with PointsBet.


The 3yo sprinters will do battle in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (Race 5) over 1200m down the straight. It is a clash of Melbourne v Sydney with the main chances having differing form lines. I'm happy to side with the Sydney form and The Chris Waller trained pair Zousain and Lean Mean Machine. Both come out of last start runs in the Golden Rose and have form around dominant 3yo The Autumn Sun. Zousain was only just grabbed late by him in the Golden Rose and you can stake him heavier than Lean Mean Machine. Zousain is currently $4.40 with BetEasy and Lean Mean Machine is $11 with PointsBet.

The feature race on the day is the Group 1 Victoria Derby (Race 7) for 3yos over the staying trip. The Gai Waterhouse trained Thinkin' Big is the favourite after a big win in the Caulfield Classic last start. He received a very favourable run in front that day and there looks to be more pressure around on Saturday. For that reason I am happy to leave him at the price. Extra Brut ran favourite in that race but was disappointing only managing 6th. The poor run was put down to the slow pace and the shifty track. He should find a more genuine tempo and a firm track on Saturday and looks a good play at the $9.50 offered by Sportsbet. Stars Of Carrum won the Vase at Moonee Valley last week, a race which is always a good Derby lead up. That was over 2040m and he looks even more suited over the 2500m and is currently $8.50 with Neds.

Another horse that looks very well placed is Land Of Plenty in the Kennedy Mile (Race 8). He comes off a dominant win in the Toorak Handicap last start and he looks to get a race here that sets up similarly. He will settle back in the field but has a big finish and providing horses can make ground down the outside he looks mighty hard to hold out. He is currently $4.80 with BetEasy.

Best of luck for one of the great race meetings of the year and we hope to see some DFR members amongst the big prizes being offered on SportChamps!


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