Young Werther draws well in Derby
Lightly raced New Zealand-bred Young Werther has had his Group One chances enhanced with a favourable barrier draw for Saturday's Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m).
The son of Tavistock will start from gate four with Damien Oliver onboard in the A$2m Flemington feature.
Young Werther , who is a current $3.50 favourite for the three-year-old feature, won on debut in September before finishing runner-up in the Listed Super Impose Stakes (1800m) earlier this month.
The Danny O'Brien-trained gelding was purchased by Aquis Farm and O'Brien for $140,000 out of Cambridge Stud's 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 draft.
Six of the horses in blue riband event carry the NZ suffix with the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young trained Wertheimer and Albarado drawing gates six and eight respectively.
Wet conditions to suit Brandenburg
Expat New Zealand trainer John Sargent is rubbing his hands together as rain descends on Sydney.
He will be vying to take home the lion's share of the A$7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) with Group One performer Brandenburg.
The son of ill-fated Cambridge Stud stallion Burgundy finished eighth last start in the Gr.1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick earlier this month, but he has subsequently finished runner-up in a 1000m trial and his trainer is pleased with him ahead of his weekend assignment.
"You would give him a pass mark (for his last start)," Sargent said.
"I have changed a lot around since then. We have been jumping him, the side-winkers go on and the rain is about, so I think you should see a different horse on Saturday."
Kiwi-bred mare ready for Golden opportunity
Trainer John O'Shea is confident All Saints' Eve will be competitive in Saturday's A$7.5 Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill.
The Gr.3 Tibbie Stakes (1400m) winner has been targeting the rich race since the start of the season O'Shea has been pleased with her build up so far.
"She had a nice positive run the other day (Gr.3 Angst Stakes, 1600m) where the barrier meant she was no chance before she jumped out but she went very well," he said. "This week it will be a very similar format to the race she won at Newcastle where she will be three or four pairs back and just waiting for a gap.
"She has a good turn of speed when those gaps appear."
O'Shea feels the daughter of Sacred Falls will benefit from any rain that eventuates and was happy to get barrier three in the draw.
"We have always been confident she would get through the ground," he said. "We have been watching the long-range weather forecast for a while.
"To be fair there are a lot of runners that will be affected in it. But I think from that draw we can just get a lovely soft run in transit. She has a great turn of speed and is going very well. She is a nice fit mare.
"We always felt she was up to this level so we just hope that with the good draw and the great preparation, she has seasoned up with a tough run at a mile previously, she can come here and be very effective in what is special race."
Price ready for a big week at Flemington
Mick Price isn't sure his Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m) runner Redwood Shadow has the form to win the race but he believes he deserves his opportunity to have a shot at it.
"He worked very well there last Thursday and he's ready for the race," Price said of the Redwood gelding who is trained out of his Warrnambool stable.
Redwood Shadow will be having only his fourth start and at his most recent appearance he finished fourth behind fellow Derby contender Albarado in the Gr.3 Caulfield Classic (2000m).
"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.