An impressive field of three-year-olds will step out in Saturday’s Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m) at Doomben and there is a case to be made for several runners at great odds.
Youngstar ($7.50) is the only filly confirmed in the 2018 Queensland Derby field and she’ll be extremely difficult to hold out with only 55kgs in tow.
Youngstar has been in outstanding form this time and finished third in a 1200m race first-up before posting consecutive and dominant wins in a pair of New South Wales minors over 1500m and 1885m respectively.
The High Chaparral filly arrived in Brisbane for a great win in the Group 2 The Roses (2000m), before realising her Group 1 potential with a perfectly-timed sprint to win the Queensland Oaks (2200m) from Another Dollar and Sheezdashing a fortnight ago.
The wide draw is something of a concern, but she’ll go back anyway and will look to finish over the top of her rivals.
Live And Free is seeking a third-consecutive win when he takes his place in the Queensland Derby field and is the $4.80 early favourite.
Live And Free clearly needed the run when he placed fifth at Newcastle first-up in March, but took plenty of benefit and responded favourable to a rise in trip when an easy winner over a mile second-up.
He failed to justify odds-on favouritism when second at Hawkesbury on April 5th, but has since dominated a pair of races over 1800m and 2000m in Sydney and probably faces not too much harder a task in this Queensland Derby field.
One horse that is worth consideration at his current price is fellow Sydney raider Dark Dream, who has drifted to $5.50 in Queensland Derby betting after failing to fire last time out.
The All American gelding just missed when second in the Listed South Pacific Classic (1400m) at Randwick during The Championships, before arriving in Brisbane for another close second behind mile specialist Villermont in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1630m).
He broke through for a maiden and deserved black type win in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) on May 12th, but lost a plate in running in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) a fortnight ago and finished third.
He does look to have a class edge over many of his rivals in the Queensland Derby field and represents terrific value at current odds.
Tangled ($15) failed to fire in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) last time out, but returns to a better trip here, while stable mate and second emergency Ombudsman ran second behind Live And Free at Randwick last time out and could prove over the odds at $26, should he gain a start.