High profile Victorian sprinters Crump and Boris Fields look the most likely to claim the Group 2 W.A Derby, courtesy of strong heat wins followed by favorable draws.
Boris Fields was arguably the most impressive of the six heat winners, after overcoming box seven in a Best of Night time of 30.30. Having his first look at the 530-metre Cannington trip, the Great Chase winner and Meadows track record holder made a bee-line for the rails early, and found his way to third around the first bend. NSW visitor, Unexplained was having a tussle with Hawk Alone at the front of the field, but all the while Jason Thompson’s sprinter was biding his time. Around the home bend Hawk Alone opened the door for Boris Fields, and he flew past the leading duo for a comfortable win.
Having drawn box one for the final, all pointers would suggest that he would only need an ounce of luck to take first place in the $60,000 final, while Hawk Alone has come up with box seven after making it through as one of two fastest runners-ups.
On the other side of the track come next Saturday night will be Crump, having been given the pink vest for Devon Meadows trainer, Troy Iwanyk. The Iwanyk name has been long associated with success in W.A racing, and a repeat performance by this son of Superman will go very close to getting the job done again, after a powerful finishing burst meant a six length heat win in 30.38.
Drawn in two as an unbackable favourite, Crump was only fair to begin and got a saloon passage to be second upon settling. With local speedster Slava Monelli going well out in front, some doubt remained as to whether the interstate challenger could run it down, but those thoughts were quickly eradicated as Crump ranged up on the home corner and put the race beyond doubt very quickly.
Jason Thompson qualified a second runner through when Powerhouse was too strong in 30.32. Crashing across to the rail from box five, the black sprinter took over the running heading off the back straight, and survived a late charge from Set Sail South, who had worked into the race after a tardy start and some early bother.
Considering Powerhouse never left the rail for the entire journey, box two seems like an ideal draw for the son of Path to Power, especially if Boris Fields steps poorly. Set Sail South will jump from box four next week, and has now made consecutive finals since making the move West, adding to the Mandurah Derby final the week prior.
The form lines coming out of that Mandurah Derby series appear strong after the first and second placegetters also won their way through.
Knight Fun for Lexia Isaac again ran them off their legs with a blistering beginning, and never looked like getting beaten in a time of 30.79. The Mandurah Derby winner will start from box three in an attempt to claim the double, and may well hold the key to the race if it happens to impede the running of the two highly fancied opponents drawn alongside.
Meanwhile, Celtic Coin atoned for its defeat to Knight Fun last start by leading from go to whoa in 30.58. Appreciating the change of surroundings and a nice inside alley, the member of the wonderful West on Lee litter was never challenged, and with any luck may outstage his brothers by claiming a Group event from box six next week.
Kiss Me Ketut rounds out the eight runners after it caused a huge boilover to win from box six at around $16.00 on the local tote. The David Burnett prepared visitor had come off recent wins around Warragul, Warrnambool and Ballarat, but quickly proved that the class jump was no barrier.
In what was a keenly contested affair, Kiss Me Ketut was given the room to overcome a moderate beginning to take the lead from the tiring Moodich at the half way point. From there the challengers came thick and fast, but none were able to catch the Victorian who stopped the clock at 30.60. Merlot Monelli for David Hobby was game in defeat however, going down by less than a length, but will have to settle for a reserve spot as a result.
On what was a high quality night of chasing, the beaten brigade from the above races included On Coin who had no luck from a wide draw in heat one, and Perth Cup winner Dyna Nalin who was crunched on the first turn when colliding with Mepunga Dee Jay in the race eventually won by Knight Fun.
2013 Group 2 W.A Derby Box Draw
1) Boris Fields – Jason Thompson
2) Powerhouse – Jason Thompson
3) Knight Fun – Lexia Isaac
4) Set Sail South – Linda Britton
5) Kiss Me Ketut – Dave Burnett
6) Celtic Coin – John Crossley
7) Hawk Alone – Mark Rodgers
8) Crump – Troy Iwanyk
9) Merlot Monelli – David Hobby
10) Slava Monelli – David Hobby