Progressive Savvy Oak ideal Derby prospect

Gr.1 VRC Derby (2500m) contender Savvy Oak. Photo: Darryl Sherer

Cranbourne trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young know what it takes to win a Group 1 VRC Derby (2500m).

The Kiwi conditioners prepared Sangster, a son of Savabeel, to win the blue-ribband event in 2011, while Sully also turned in a strong performance when second from a wide barrier last year.

On Saturday, the duo will have two representatives headed by progressive stayer Savvy Oak in addition to outsider Louie The Legend.

Although only a maiden winner, Savvy Oak found the line well when fourth behind Stars Of Carrum in last Saturday’s Group 2 AAMI Vase (2040m) and his trainers believe his $20 quote is over the odds.

“Savvy Oak has come through his last run in the Vase well,” Young said. “He’s paying $20, but I think he should be priced at 11 or 12-1. I think he’s a great chance. His work has been super.

“He is a horse that can really back-up. He is jumping around and his work this morning (Thursday) was top-class. I can’t fault him.”

Like Sangster, Savvy Oak is a son of New Zealand’s champion sire Savabeel.

A $95,000 purchase from the Windsor Park Stud draft at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2017 Premier Yearling Sale, Savvy Oak is out of the Group 3 winning High Chaparral mare Fairy Oak.

“He’s furnished through the preparation and on breeding he wants a trip, as his dam was a stakes winner over 1800m.”

Young said Savvy Oak would wear ear muffs pre-race to keep him settled after becoming a little bit warm before the Vase.

Meanwhile, Young believed Louie The Legend is not without a chance despite being well held in 10th last start.

“He probably did a bit too much work in the Geelong Classic and didn’t quite finish it off,” she said.

“This time he will be ridden conservatively. He has got a little bit of an awkward draw (11) and he may end up a couple of pairs further back than what we would like.

“Dwayne Dunn is happy to get back on him, which is a good sign.”

Young believes Thinkin’ Big is the horse to beat but is pleased to be represented in the 2500m feature once again.

“It’s a good Derby field, but it is just great to have two in it and giving the owners an experience of having a Derby runner.

“They’re all over the moon. Both horses warrant being there and I think they will both go a really good race.”