Thinkin’ he’s a star

Bott be­lieves Derby favourite is ready

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - MATT JONES

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.

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