Australian racing picks for Victoria Derby Day

Profile Picture: Andrew Brown

October 30th, 2020

BetAmerica horseplayers are in for an absolute treat tonight — no tricks about it!

It’s Victoria Derby Day in Melbourne, which kick-starts the prestigious four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington Racecourse.

Derby Day sees some of the best horses from around Australia and the world compete across nine races, for prize money in excess of AUS$7 million (about US$5 million). There are four competitive Group 1 races on tonight’s card from Flemington, headlined by the Victoria Derby over 2,500 meters.

Further north in Sydney, the AUS$7.5 million Golden Eagle will take place at Rosehill.

Here are a few picks for those sensational Group 1 races at Flemington, and a pick for the Golden Eagle at Rosehill.

Flemington, Race 5: #12 Odeum

The Empire Rose (G1) features some of the country’s best fillies and mares battle in weight-for-age conditions over the Flemington mile.

Odeum is one of the few 3-year-olds in the race, and she looks very hard to beat for local trainer Mick Price. The daughter of Written Tycoon has won three of her last four starts, including a superb last-out victory in the Thousand Guineas (G1), where she was extremely strong to the wire over the mile.

The filly gets in at that ultra-light weight of 49 kilograms (108 pounds) and 3-year-olds have a very good record in this race.

For exotic players, #1 Mystic Journey should be included, and #5 Vanna Girl wouldn’t surprise at big odds.

Flemington, Race 6: #1 Farnan 

The Coolmore Stud (G1) is for 3-year-olds at 6 furlongs up the Flemington stretch.

Farnan won Australia’s and the world’s richest race for 2-year-olds, the Golden Slipper (G1), earlier this year and looks to be the best horse in the race.

He’ll be ridden by Glen Boss, and the jockey always makes an impact around carnival time. He is coming off a victory in Saturday’s Cox Plate (G1) on Sir Dragonet.

Farnan has had just the one run as a 3-year-old and there were excuses. I expect him to bounce back and be too good.

Hardest to beat will be #2 Wild Ruler and #14 September Run.

Flemington, Race 7: #4 Let’s Karaka Deal

The feature race on the program, the Victoria Derby (G1), is contested by 3-year-olds over 2,500 meters.

Let’s Karaka Deal has been racing well without winning. He probably should have won two starts back at Flemington but never got a clear run up the stretch, and last time out he was a solid second in the Caulfield Classic (G3).

He’s drawn to do no work from the inside post position and should relish the extra trip. At around 9-1 on the morning line, he looks like a terrific value.

For second, I like #8 Redwood Shadow, a 13-1 hope on the morning line who has plenty of scope for improvement, after he hit the line strongly for fourth last time out in the Caulfield Classic.

The two favorites, #1 Cherry Tortoni and #5 Young Werther, should be included in your exotic bets. Young Werther has only had the two starts for trainer Danny O’Brien, but he looks like he could be something very special.

Flemington, Race 8: #13 Buffalo River

I like this North American-bred gelding in the final Group 1 of the day, the Kennedy Cantala.

The 5-year-old from the barn of Mike Moroney has plenty of scope for improvement in his third run this campaign. His two runs back from a layoff have both been full of merit, including a gutsy second in the Toorak Handicap (G1).

#9 Rock is another who will go around at decent odds and factor in the result. Look out for him running home strongly late.

#2 Mr. Quickie, who beat Buffalo River home in the Toorak last time out, will have to overcome a wide post position but can certainly feature in the finish.

Rosehill, Race 8: No. 12 Funstar

This daughter of Adelaide, the 2014 Cox Plate winner, is the best horse in the race but has drawn post 22 in a field of 22! You would think that would be enough to discount her, but there is a 4 1/2 furlong run into the first turn, and she has a fair bit of speed inside her that should cart her nicely into the race.

She is in fantastic form. She just missed last time out in the Epsom H. (G1), and with the wet weather around Sydney and threat of a heavy track, the case for her chances increases. In three runs on the heavy, she has won two and run second in the other.

I think she can get the job done for champion trainer Chris Waller and jockey Tommy Berry.

It’s going to be an awesome night of racing from Down Under. Good luck!