Waller Pleased with 2015 Australian Derby Pair

March 31st, 2015

Preferment placed an agonizingly-close second to kiwi raider Volkstok’N’Barrell in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) two weeks ago, and will be chasing a rare Derby double in Saturday’s 2015 Australian Derby (2400m) after taking out the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) in November.

Preferment is one of two Chris Waller-trained chances in the 2015 Australian Derby. Photo: Sarah Ebbett

Preferment is one of two Chris Waller-trained chances in the 2015 Australian Derby. Photo: Sarah Ebbett

Unable to make much of a competitive impact over two minor starts through winter before returning to the paddock, Preferment ran second in each of the Testa Rossa @ Vinery Maiden (1400m) and More Than Ready Plate (1550m) upon resuming in spring; progressing to second in the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) before amazingly posting a maiden victory in the Victoria Derby.

Having overcome two forgettable starts over unsuitable distances when second in the Rosehill Guineas, trainer Chris Waller has been thrilled with the continually building form and class of the Zabeel colt and is confident of another competitive performance in the 2015 Australian Derby.

“He has really matured now,” Waller told AAP.

“Leading up to the Victoria Derby he did a few things wrong but he has grown up a lot.”

Waller is set to be offered two competitive chances of success in the 2015 Australian Derby after confirming Quick Strike will also take a position in the final field.

While yet to contest an event beyond 2000m, Waller is confident the son of High Chaparral’s performance for fourth in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) last time out points towards a successful run on Saturday.

“On Quick Strike’s Tulloch run he deserves his chance in the Derby,” Waller added.

“He’s by High Chaparral and the distance should not be a problem.”

Failing to finish outside the first three over a commendable spring preparation, Quick Strike finished third in two Warwick Farm Maiden events before posting back-to-back victories in the Roseberry Maiden (1550m) and Shop With The TAB App BM66 (1600m).

The 2015 Australian Derby final field and barrier draw is set to be completed and released by midday today (March 31st).

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