2022 Australian Derby Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

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Fri 1st April 2022


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The Group 1 Australian Derby, held at Royal Randwick Racecourse, is a 2400m 3YO race held under set weights conditions. The $2m feature, held on day one of ‘The Championships’, is the final leg of Australia’s triple crown for three-year-olds.

First run in 1861, the race has been won by some absolute champions of the turf. Phar Lap (1929), Tulloch (1957), Kingston Town (1980) and Octagonal (1996) are just a few names etched into the race’s history. Last year’s Derby was taken out by Explosive Jack.

A capacity field of 3YO’s line up for this year’s Derby, and looking at the market, Dabble has Victorian Derby winner Hitotsu favourite at $3.70. Kiwi gelding Regal Lion is on the next line at $6.00, just ahead of Forgot You at $7.50, and Godolphin galloper Character at $9.00.

The mile and a quarter around Randwick, in testing conditions, will be a tough ask for many of these 3YO’s. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2022 Australian Derby along with The Shark’s best tips. 

1. Hitotsu (4) – $3.70F
Jockey – John Allen 56.5kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Victorian Derby winner last Spring, who resumed in fine style, winning the G1 Australian Guineas. No doubt he’s the class runner in the field, but he finds himself second up at 2400m, on a bog track which he’s never seen before. If he handles the conditions, he is definitely the one to beat.

2. Alegron (3) – $15
Jockey – Hugh Bowman 56.5kg
Trainer – James Cummings

Genuine stayer who has resumed this prep with two satisfactory runs. He finished 2nd to Hitotsu in last year’s Victorian Derby, and should be ready to peak here third up. Should get a nice run from the good draw, but the wet track is some concern as he is untried.

3. Forgot You (13) – $7.50
Jockey – Mark Zahra 56.5kg
Trainer – Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young

Completely outclassed last time in the G1 Rosehill Guineas behind star colt Anamoe. Prior to that he was good from the back in the G1 Australian Guineas. Step up to 2400m looks ideal, and he handled the heavy going well last start. Blinkers come off here to help him relax throughout, and he looks a genuine top three chance.

4. Castlereagh Kid (12) – $18
Jockey – Nash Rawiller 56.5kg
Trainer – Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

Strung three wins together this prep, including the G2 Autumn Classic at Caulfield, before a last start defeat in the G2 Alister Clark Stakes. Will roll forward and looks as though he’ll stay all day, but probably needs to find a bit on his last run, and the heavy ground is a query.

5. Regal Lion (10) – $6.00
Jockey – James McDonald 56.5kg
Trainer – Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman

Kiwi raider who backs up from Monday’s Newcastle meeting, where he finished with a wet sail in the G2 Tulloch Stakes. He finished 3rd in the NZ Derby over this trip, behind two smart ones, and is drawn to get a good run in transit. The only queries for mine are the addition of synthetic hoof filler for this race, and his two heavy track runs, which have been just fair. In saying that, if he produces a similar performance to Monday, he’ll be mighty hard to hold out.

6. White Noise (21) – $31
Jockey – Robbie Dolan 56.5kg
Trainer – Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman

Stablemate of Regal Lion, who also comes out of Monday’s Tulloch Stakes. He raced in inferior ground on that occasion, and finished midfield. His NZ form is respectable, but the gate makes his task here look a little too tricky for mine.

7. War Eternal (9) – $23
Jockey – Damian Lane 56.5kg
Trainer – Bjorn Baker

Talented colt who ran well in the G1 Randwick Guineas two back, before another good effort in the G2 Alister Clark last start. Seems to relish heavy ground, but he steps up to 2400m now, which may be a question mark. If he can run the trip, he’s definitely good enough to figure in the money.

8. Character (11) – $9.00
Jockey – Tommy Berry 56.5kg
Trainer – James Cummings

Finished 3rd in the G2 Phar Lap Stakes two back, which has turned out to be a very strong form race. He then went to Newcastle on Monday and was too classy for his rivals in the G2 Tulloch. Was beaten a long way in last year’s Victorian Derby, but looks a more furnished gelding this time in. Has to be respected.

9. Can’t Go Wong (6) – $21
Jockey – Jamie Kah 56.5kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Got home well in the G2 Alister Clark Stakes last start at Moonee Valley. Drawn to get a nice run, but is untried in the wet and at 2400m. Too many question marks for mine.

10. Maurice’s Medad (16) – $41
Jockey – Joshua Parr 56.5kg
Trainer – Bjorn Baker

Ran some nice races earlier in the prep, before a last start 3rd in the Listed Albury Cup. Steps out to 2400m now which is a big query, and his heavy track form is not good. Not here.

11. Raging Bull (15) – $34
Jockey – Craig Williams 56.5kg
Trainer – David Payne

Will appreciate the step up in trip, after his last start midfield finish in the G1 Randwick Guineas. Ran 4th in last year’s Victorian Derby, but the query is the month between runs and heavy ground.

12. Elzamee (1) – $26
Jockey – Chad Schofield 56.5kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Got to the line better than anything last start in the G2 Alister Clark Stakes. Looks as though the mile and a quarter will be no problem, but will be racing on wet ground for the first time. If he can handle it, he looks one of the main hopes at good odds.

13. Zoumon (5) – $51
Jockey – Tim Clark 56.5kg
Trainer – Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

Led them up on Monday in the G2 Tulloch and found little. On form probably isn’t good enough, but will be rock hard fit and has won twice on heavy ground.

14. Clyde (8) – $71
Jockey – Shaun Guymer 56.5kg
Trainer – Gary Portelli

Whacked away fairly in the G2 Tulloch, suggesting the trip shouldn’t be an issue. Needs to find a few lengths on recent form, but is far from the worst in this.

15. Benaud (19) – $11
Jockey – Brenton Avdulla 56.5kg
Trainer – John O’Shea

Got to the line good in the Tulloch on Monday behind Character. Will appreciate the step up in trip, and has raced well on heavy ground. Drawn off the track, but if they go hard up front, he’s capable of finishing in the placings.

16. Footlights (2) – $51
Jockey – William Pike 56.5kg
Trainer – Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young

Got the job done in BM64 grade last start on a heavy track. This looks a throw at the stumps, and it’s hard to have him on recent form.

17. Sea Treasure (17) – $51
Jockey – Rachel King 56.5kg
Trainer – Bjorn Baker

On the 7 day back up after winning a Class 1 at Newcastle last Saturday. Handles the wet, but it looks unlikely he’ll string two wins together here.

18. Akahata (20) – $101
Jockey – Brock Ryan 56.5kg
Trainer – Bjorn Baker

Beaten 3.5L in a Wellington BM64, in similar conditions, at this trip last start. If that’s good enough to win an Australian Derby I’ll give it away.

19e. Asternishing (18) – SCRATCHED
Jockey – Dean Holland 56.5kg
Trainer – Mick Bell


20e. Mediaro (14) – $61
Jockey – Jay Ford 56.5kg
Trainer – Matthew Smith

Lightly raced gelding who was completely outclassed last start in the G1 Rosehill Guineas. Steps up to 2400m now and will need to find plenty on his last couple of runs. 

21e. Lukey Luke (7) – $81
Jockey – Keagan Latham 56.5kg
Trainer – Gwenda Markwell

Blew his rivals away last start in a Hawkesbury maiden on heavy ground. Steps from 1500m to 2400m which will be a big ask, but has shown plenty of ability in his three starts to date. Will give a sight at cricket score odds.

Final Word

This year’s Australian Derby looks a competitive race, and will be run in testing conditions, as we’ve become accustomed to in recent weeks. 

Most runners have a question mark at either the trip (2400m) or on the heavy track, which makes it a tricky race to assess.

Victorian Derby winner Hitotsu looks the clear standout on form, and it’s hard to tip against him on his first up Australian Guineas win. He’s a horse that possesses plenty of raw ability, and I think we’re yet to see the best of him. If this race was on a dry track, it’d be a matter of ‘how far’, but since that’s not the case, there are other runners that come into play. 

Kiwi galloper Regal Lion looks one of the main dangers, after his brilliant 2nd in Monday’s Tulloch Stakes. The step up in trip looks ideal, and with McDonald on board from the good gate, he’ll take plenty of beating.

Forgot You is racing like the 2400m will be to his liking this time round. Although he was beaten by a big margin by Anamoe last start, his last furlong was quite strong. 

Godolphin pair Alegron and Character both look set to run well stepping out to the extended journey, and the grey Benaud is not without a hope, after his fast finishing 4th last start.

Of the rest, Elzamee looks a good chance at odds, after a good run in the G2 Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley. He was strong to the line suggesting the 2400m will suit.

Although he’s on the drift, I cannot tip against the favourite Hitotsu. Yes, he has to step up from a mile to 2400m in testing conditions, but I’m sure the Maher/Eustace stable will have him spot on for this. His win in the Victorian Derby during the Spring was breathtaking, and if he handles the heavy track here, he wins.

Best Australian Derby Tip: 1. Hitotsu – Win ($3.70)
Australian Derby numbers: 1-5-15-3

If you need more news, information and tips, head over to our Australian Derby page for all your punting needs!

*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.

Tom has had a passion for the racing industry from the time he could talk. Wether it was at school, on smoko or in his own spare time, he always had his head in the form guide.He has worked hands on in the industry for years for some of Australia’s most highly regarded trainers. As a track rider, he has put the polish on some of the best horse flesh to grace the turf in recent years including the grey flash, Chautauqua, Golden slipper winner, Mossfun and sprinter-turned-sire, Deep Field to name a few.Tom has recently hung up the boots to focus solely on his punting and tipping services. With the objective of finding plenty of winners and value in the marketplace, you’ll be sure to have a fat wallet following his feature race previews.