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Sabrage overs?

Craig Young, Sydney Morning Herald

JOCKEY Glyn Schofield isn't subscribing to the theory Saturday's $1.5 million Australian Derby at Randwick will be fought out by the Rosehill Guineas placegetters.

Heading the list is Guineas winner Laser Hawk, which has been installed favourite ($3.20) and has the backing of trainer Gai Waterhouse, who is yet to win the premier classic for three-year-olds.

New Zealand Derby winner Silent Achiever ($4) and fellow Kiwi Ocean Park ($4.80), both of which filled the Rosehill Guineas placings, are next in betting on the Derby.

Schofield will have his first ride on the Mike Moroney-trained Sabrage ($51), having been in Dubai when the Victoria Derby third placegetter disappointed in the Rosehill Guineas.

I'm praying again, I've drawn another outside gate [13], he said in reference to last Saturday's Golden Slipper also-ran Jade Marauder starting from barrier 16. It is not of my own doing, someone else's.

Schofield is hoping the return to 2400 metres at Randwick will ensure Sabrage is at the top of his game.

A Victoria Derby placegetter, we know he stays the trip, he said. He might have been caught in a slowly run Rosehill Guineas last time. Mike is on record as saying he had trouble getting around the bends but was all right in a straight line. I might be a bit more positive from the wide gate, he does stay.

However, he is aware of the favourite. The way Gai is going at the moment, Laser Hawk has to be very much respected, Schofield said. We're back at Randwick, and we know her horses run well there. The New Zealand filly is there and the Victoria Derby winner [Sangster] is as well.

Moroney was alarmed to see Sabrage fail to negotiate the bends at Rosehill. He has always gone all right at home, he said. It might have been a bit of pilot error, he rode out to get three wide, thought he'd follow the right horse into the race but ours kept going out. He is not the worst horse in this race.

Moroney will start Albury Cup runner-up Muirfield in Saturday's Chairman's Quality (2600m). The lightly raced four-year-old was highly fancied for the Victoria Derby but missed the race. He returned last autumn to finish third in the Packer Plate at Randwick before heading north for the Queensland Derby.

He knocked a tendon in Queensland, and missed the spring, Moroney said. He has always looked pretty good, his maiden win [in September 2010] had to be seen to be believed. We've got the option of going to the Sydney Cup, we've got the Warrnambool Cup or he could go to the paddock.

Stablemate Born To Rock resumes in the Sapphire Stakes, as does rival Flemington trainer Mark Kavanagh's exciting unbeaten filly and tearaway Thousand Guineas winner Atlantic Jewel.

It is a strong field, and ours has drawn all right in two, Moroney said. It will be interesting, we are going to Queensland with our filly.

In the Carbine Club Stakes, Moroney has Devonshire Duke, which has drawn barrier 11.

A fair horse who has drawn a wide gate, and we'll have to go back, Moroney said.


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