Draw no obstacle for Derby favourite

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    VINCENT - Photo HRV

    AN AWKWARD draw isn’t expected to stop exciting youngster Vincent from joining his dam as a Victorian Blue Riband when he ventures to Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday.

    Registering a scintillating win in his Victoria Derby heat last weekend, Vincent will begin from the inside of the second row in the $200,000 Final.

    Despite the colt’s starting position, he has been installed a hot $1.80 favourite for co-trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen.

    Also successful in his qualifier and drawn the second row, Be Jacks Legend, which is trained by Purdon’s brother Barry, is considered the biggest threat at $7.50.

    “We are very pleased with the way he has come through his run,” Purdon said. “He’s only had eight starts for seven wins and is still learning, so if anything the run has done him the world of good.

    “His work this week has been terrific, and although the draw isn’t what we’d ask for, he is good enough to overcome it.”

    By siring sensation Art Major, the three-year-old is from former top filly and good producer Kept For Pleasure.

    Among the best of her crop, Kept For Pleasure annexed the 2008 Victoria Oaks for trainer Susan Hunter.

    The Group Ones have been run simultaneously since 1952, with only one Oaks winner producing a subsequent Derby champ.

    Opal Raid was triumphant in the inaugural Oaks in 1952 – when two divisions worth 1000 pounds were conducted – before her son Opal Chief captured the Derby in 1961.

    HOOFNOTE: An Australian Pacing Gold graduate – like his mum – Vincent has a half-sister by Sportswriter in the Sydney leg of the yearling sale which is destined to attract plenty of attention.

    • PAUL COURTS

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