Expat New Zealand trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young will be hoping third time’s a charm for their talented three-year-old Savvy Oak when he lines up in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The son of Savabeel has contested two previous Derbys this season, finishing seventh in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) in November, and runner-up in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) last month. They were happy with his run in the South Australian Derby and believe he has developed into a better three-year-old in the autumn. “He got a beautiful run and I thought he was the winner on the turn (in the South Australian Derby),” Busuttin said. “I was looking for the ones behind him and then the filly (Qafila) was off and gone, but he’s honest and tried hard. “He was always going to improve in the autumn, as most of them do. “He’s finally settling down. He has got a few traits and is a bit quirky, but he’s starting to settle down and is learning what it’s all about now.”
Busuttin is pleased with how Savvy Oak has settled into his new surroundings in Queensland and expects a bold showing from his charge after being impressed by his track work on Tuesday. “He’s up here enjoying the Queensland sun and he is going very well,” he said. “He worked up on Tuesday morning with Bjorn Baker’s horse, Fun Fact, at Eagle Farm and he hasn’t put a foot wrong. I think he will be thereabouts.”
Savvy Oak will jump from barrier two with Michael Walker aboard and is marked as an $18 winning chance by TAB bookmakers behind favourite Nobu at $4.50, while the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Bobby Dee and Lord Arthur are both $19 chances. Bred by Windsor Park Stud, Savvy Oak was purchased through their 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale draft for $90,000.