Mick Price isn’t sure his Victoria Derby runner Redwood Shadow has the form to win the race but he believes he deserves his opportunity to have a shot at it.
Price set eight three-year-olds for the 2500m classic and Redwood Shadow was the last one standing because he had the constitution to cope with a Derby preparation.
“Every horse is different but at any point if they looked like they were ready for the paddock, off they went,” Price said.
“Redwood Shadow is the one that has got there. He’s a gelding and has been trained from our Warrnambool stables.
“He worked very well there last Thursday and he’s ready for the race.”
Redwood Shadow will be having only his fourth start and at his most recent appearance he finished fourth behind Albarado in the Caulfield Classic.
“I think Redwood Shadow is capable of running first three or four but Albarado was strong winning at Caulfield and I can’t see him turning the tables on him,” Price said.
“Then there’s Cherry Tortoni. They are the two horses to beat.”
Redwood Shadow has drawn barrier 12 and will be ridden by Jye McNeil.
Price and co-trainer Michael Kent Junior will also have two other Group One runners on Saturday with Odeum in the Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) and Our Playboy in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
Price said when three-year-old Odeum won the Thousand Guineas last start his initial reaction was to send her to the spelling paddock.
“To me she had done her job. She’d won a Group One and we could put her away for the autumn, but her owners wanted me to go to this race,” Price said.
“Now I think she’s my best Group One chance for the week. With only 49 kilograms, with Jye McNeil in the saddle, she’s in great form.”
Price said Our Playboy had freshened up in good style and was ready for the Coolmore Stud Stakes.
However, although he defeated Ranting to win the Vain Stakes in August, Price wondered whether that form was good enough.
“I’m not sure about that Ranting form. In the Blue Sapphire he defeated one horse which bled and another with heat stress,” Price said.
Price was thrilled with Oceanex’s final lead up race to the Melbourne Cup when she finished third in the Moonee Valley Cup on Cox Plate day.
“She’s got a bit more to come. If it’s a wet track she should finish in the top half of the field and they pay to twelfth,” Price said.
“She’s in great order but it’s going to be whether she’s good enough to beat those other horses.”
Price said Oceanex would be ridden by light weight jockey Dean Yendall, who partnered her in the Moonee Valley Cup.