2014 Australian Derby Final Field Released

April 8th, 2014

A capacity field of 18 has accepted for this weekend’s major Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on day 1 of the inaugural The Championships, including 2014 Rosehill Guineas champion Criterion.

Criterion has been confirmed in the final field of the 2014 Australian Derby

Criterion has been confirmed in the final field of the 2014 Australian Derby. Photo: Steve Hart

Unlucky not to claim a Group 1 victory prior to his last start, Criterion contested a strong 2013 spring campaign, finishing second in both the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) and Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) most notably.

Returning to the track in typically competitive form this time in, the exciting Sebring colt finished fourth in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) first-up before again finishing an unlucky second in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).

Trainer David Payne has confirmed Criterion is likely to return to the spelling paddock following this weekend’s Australian Derby, but is confident in going out with a bang this weekend.

Finishing second to Criterion in the Rosehill Guineas last time out, Thunder Fantasy has also been confirmed in the final field for the 2014 Australian Derby.

Experiencing something of a meteoric rise to prominence over his maiden year of racing, Thunder Fantasy claimed his opening two spring races and steadily built towards a strong third in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) on November 2nd.

Returning to the track in arguably career best form this season, the talented Lucky Owners colt claimed the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) first-up on February 8th before producing a typically strong turn of foot to finish third in the Australian Guineas.

While unable to figure when eighth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) just one week later, Thunder Fantasy’s performance in the Rosehill Guineas has trainer Anthony Freedman eyeing an appearance in the major Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on April 19th, and is confident of another successful showing at Randwick this weekend.

Unable to justify favouritism leading into the Rosehill Guineas and finishing a particularly disappointing 12th, New Zealand-based trainer Peter McKay is hopeful Puccini can re-find the form which delivered three consecutive wins at Group level prior to heading across the ditch.

Securing a total of five wins and four places from only 15 race starts, Puccini has quickly risen to the forefront of New Zealand, particularly over his current preparation which has delivered wins in the Group 2 Great North Guineas (1600m), Group 2 Waikato Guineas (2000m), Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m).

Also hopeful of a far sturdier running surface at Royal Randwick this weekend, McKay revealed the Encosta De Lago colt has worked well over the last fortnight and will find the Australian Derby in good order.

Exploding into Australian Derby contention with a blistering run to win the Group 2 Nathan Berry Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill last weekend, exciting three-year-old Gallatin was anything but a household name over his first seven starts, despite winning one and placing in three others.

Trainer Peter Snowden has outlined the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on April 19th as the major target for the Street Cry colt this preparation, and is confident of another strong performance this weekend, particularly if allocated a favourable gate at this evening’s barrier draw.

The barrier draw for the 2014 Australian Derby will be held and released at a ceremony to officially open The Championships at Royal Randwick this evening.

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2014 Australian Derby Final Field

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 00224×4281 CRITERION (NZ) David Payne Hugh Bowman 0 56.5kg 100
2 3514141110 PUCCINI (NZ) Peter & Jacob McKay Craig Williams 0 56.5kg 105
3 11593×1382 THUNDER FANTASY Anthony Cummings Damien Oliver 0 56.5kg 99
4 312310×374 SAVVY NATURE (NZ) John O’Shea James McDonald 0 56.5kg 96
5 4125×35543 TERONADO Bruce W Hill Craig Newitt 0 56.5kg 77
6 1x2131x700 KOROIBETE Gerald Ryan Damian Browne 0 56.5kg 81
7 1151×7637 SURGE AHEAD Anthony Cummings Zac Purton 0 56.5kg 78
8 3x513x6351 GALLATIN Peter Snowden Nash Rawiller 0 56.5kg 70
9 x4444x5855 HOOKED John P Thompson Blake Shinn 0 56.5kg 77
10 124144×153 BEST CASE (NZ) Anthony Cummings Christian Reith 0 56.5kg 73
11 5x0170x611 CRIME FIGHTER Peter G Moody Luke Nolen 0 56.5kg 73
12 x21925x309 TUPAC AMARU Peter Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 0 56.5kg 70
13 2868×61012 SINGING FLAME Kevin Moses Tim Clark 0 56.5kg 63
14 2419×128 CADILLAC MOUNTAIN Peter G Moody Chad Schofield 0 56.5kg
15 66×5100212 SOLO SAGA Bevan Laming Jim Cassidy 0 56.5kg
16 3310×31434 MOUNTAIN VIEW (NZ) John Sargent Joao Moreira 0 56.5kg 68
17 x14579x961 SURGING WAVE David Hayes Michael Rodd 0 56.5kg
18 870×003305 HERESDECASINO Neville & Christopher Voigt 0 56.5kg 52