R7: WATC Derby – 2400m 3YO G2 SW $400,000

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 (Thursday) with fine weather forecast. The track should be a Good 3 by race time. The rail is out 3m which can tend to suit those that race closer to the lead.  In distances races however (1800m+) results tend to be more even with those settling in the first 6 holding an advantage over back runners.

Speed and Tactics

Big Red Costa (5), Heart Starter (7) and Who Dat Singer (11) look the runners most likely to press forward. Arcadia Dream (10) is drawn awkwardly, but looks to have the right map to press forward early and then look for a position to slot in.

There may be some hustle and bustle early, but once they find positions the pace should slacken to a below average level, average at best.

Early Pace Rating: Below Average to Average

Late Pace Rating: Average to Above Average

Best Suited: Front half of the field. However staying talent over the 2400m can potentially override an in running disadvantage.

Race Overview

Below are the ratings that recent WATC Derby winners have run to:

  • 2015 – Delicacy – 101
  • 2014 – Respondent – 99.8
  • 2013 – Mystic Prince – 97
  • 2012 – Rohan – 98
  • 2011 – Dreamaway – 100
  • 2010 – Chartreux – 99

The average winner rating over the last 6 years has been 99.1. On exposed form Kia Ora Koutou (97.5) and Arcadia Dream (97.2) have the best peak ratings and are just as likely as any of the others to run to a new peak in this race.

Runner by Runner Analysis 

1. Kia Ora Koutou (1) $3.40 MKT: $2.10

He has a peak of 97.5 from last preparation (2200m) and has been building nicely this time in, improving both second up and then again third up. Last start he was under pressure when the sprint went on and took a while to wind up, but was strong through the line in a 93 rating. He’s clearly set to improve up to 2400m here, but he’ll need to deliver on every bit of that potential improvement if he’s to win the race. With that previous peak of 97.5 it would not surprise one bit if he won easily, but his current market price is more that of a horse that’s already displaying clearly the best form leading into the race and only needs to maintain it to win. That’s certainly not the case here so it’s difficult to see what the market is undervaluing to suggest he could be betting value.

2. Who Dat Singa (11) $5.50 MKT: $4.00

Was a dominant winner in the 2200m Melvista Stakes last start (beating Kia Ora Koutou), sitting outside the lead on a moderate speed and then sprinting away to win by 1.8 lengths. His 95.5 rating was solid enough and is one of the better recent performances coming into this race. That puts him in this with a very competitive chance, although it’s likely he’ll have to run a new peak to win.

3. Heart Starter (7) $15 MKT: $7.00

Had every chance last start behind Who Dat Singa (beaten 3.3 lengths) and despite the moderate early pace, he still peaked on his run late. That raises concerns about his ability to lift to a big new peak here stepping up to 2400m.

4, Pushin Shapes (2) $251 MKT: $126

He’s well exposed after 13 career starts and only has a peak rating of 90.2… well and truly short of the level needed to win this, especially stepping up from 1800m to 2400m.

5. Big Red Costa (5) $151 MKT: $201

He led the Melvista Stakes at a moderate pace last start and gave very little in the run home, losing ground in the straight to be beaten 4.5 lengths. His peak of 88.5 says he’s well and truly outclassed.

6. Cappo Doro (6) $41 MKT: $26

Chased solidly last start behind Who Dat Singa to be beaten 2.8 lengths with a 90.2 rating. He might improve a little up to 2400m, but it’s hard to forecast enough improvement to get him into the competitive mix.

7. Gauged (3) $351 MKT: $151

Beaten 6.8 lengths last start behind Who Dat Singa and has nothing in his prior form to suggest he can mix it at this level.

8. Lolong (12) $351 MKT: $101

Still a Maiden and was beaten 9 lengths behind Who Dat Singa last start. He’s outclassed.

9. Arcadia Dream (10) $4.80 MKT: $6.50

She was a very impressive winner over 2200m two starts ago, sitting back off a moderate speed and then running home strongly to win by 2.3L without being fully extended. Her 97.2 rating measures up very well for this race and represents clearly the best figure of any runner this preparation. Last start she sat outside a walking pace in the WA Oaks and fought hard but was claimed by the stablemate First Impressions (also in this race) and was beaten 1.8 lengths. She rated 4.5 points down in that run, but the fact that she raced without cover on such a terribly slow early pace made the race less of a staying test and more of an 800 sprint… conditions which often lead to upsets. We can’t totally ignore last start, but more even early speed here and the prospect of finding some cover is the ideal scenario for her to bounce back to her prior rating and at that level she would be extremely hard to beat. W Pike on top adds confidence and on the current market price looks generous. She’s a great value betting prospect.

10. Spirit Bird (8) $34 MKT: $34

Her peak over 2000m+ came two starts ago at 91.3, which is well below the standard needed to win this.

11. First Impressions (4) $6.50 MKT: $8

She got a dream run through last start in the Oaks, but there was still plenty of merit in her win coming from around 5 lengths off a very slow pace with fast sustained sectionals. Her 95.2 rating from that run is very competitive here and there’s no reason she can’t run to a similar level in this or slightly better with more even early pace up front. There’s certainly some appeal in her current price.

12. Culverin (9) #31 MKT: $31

Took off early last week in the 2200m Melvista Stakes (won by Who Dat Singa) and kicked on reasonably well in the straight to be beaten 2 lengths. Her 92.2 rating from that run is comfortably below the wining standard here, but a small amount of improvement could see her finish in the top 4.

Betting Strategy

It’s always a risk taking on such a dominant favourite as Kia Ora Koutou, but the prices are right to gamble on two better value runners to beat him.

 BACK (WIN) – Arcadia Dream – at $5.30+ (1.3% of total betting bank)

 BACK (WIN) First Impressions – $7.50+ (0.8% of total betting bank)

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