Thinkin’ he’s a star
Bott believes Derby favourite is ready
HE’S the firm favourite for tomorrow’s $2m Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington and cotrainer Adrian Bott says Thinkin’ Big is primed to continue his winning form.
The son of High Chaparral has won traditional Derby leadup races, the Gloaming Stakes (1800m) and Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) in good fashion and Tim Clark partners him again.
He’s been installed a firm $2.80 favourite with the TAB after bullying the Norman Robinson field a fortnight ago at Caulfield with three-length win over Chapada.
And Bott is confident he’ll be even better in the Derby.
“He’s ready to roll. We’ve been really happy with his preparation and impressed the colt himself. He looks in great shape,” Bott said.
“I think we’ve got the right horse so hopefully we get conditions for him tomorrow.
“He’s had the perfect lead up and his work has been great going into it.
“He’s come out of that last run with a lot of confidence. He’s taken the necessary improvement out of it.”
Being a typical Gai Waterhouse-trained horse he likes to lead in his races.
But that’s often hard to do allthe-way over 2500m and above.
Bott said he can take a sit if Clark wants him to from barrier nine.
“He’s not one dimensional,” Bott said.
“You can put the colt anywhere in the race and he’s got a good turn of foot. He’ll be wherever Tim wants him to be.
“He’ll relax in the race and come back under Tim nicely.
“He’s got the tactical speed to lead if he needs to but also has the turn of foot come past them if given a quiet run.”
He’ll have to beat the likes of Mickey Blue Eyes, Extra Brute and Aramayo who won the Group 3 Spring Stakes three starts back before running second in Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (where he beat home Thinkin’ Big) and third in the Group 2 Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
Trainer James Cummings is excited to see the Poet’s Voice colt get out 2500m.
“I think he’s been looking for a mile-and-a-half,” he said.
“There are a lot of Derby performers in his pedigree.
“He ran well in the Vase at Moonee Valley last weekend and even better in the Spring Champion Stakes and he hasn’t left it on the track.
“I’m very excited to see Aramayo run well this weekend. We were third in the race last year and there’s been a number of placegetters for Godolphin.
“It would be great to see the Godolphin colours win a Derby in Australia, especially after winning the Epsom with Masar in UK.”
Co-trainer Adrian Bott believes Thinkin’ Big is spot on as he heads into tomorrow’s Victoria Derby.