Special Swey is ready to prove how special he is when he lines up in the $1 million Queensland Derby at Eagle Farm this Saturday.
In his way over the 2400m journey is not only the carpark draw, but also the first clash with his talented stablemate Kovalica.
Joining the Chris Waller stable, Special Swey won by 1.5 lengths in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate earlier this month on his Australian debut when paying $26 with online bookmakers.
Under Tyler Schiller, the Sweynesse x Mia Mamma gelding caused the boilover after taking the lead from the jump without any contest and then kicking clear in the home straight to hold on from The Vowels.
2023 Rough Habit Plate replay
Winner: Special Swey
The stage is now set for a huge battle over the 2400m with The Vowels ($13) and Tapildoodledo ($51) also throwing down the challenge in the Group 1 feature for three-year-olds.
Kovalica (8:5-0-2) triumphed in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas before finishing third in the Group 1 Doomben Cup but was scratched from the Rough Habit, so all eyes will be on the contest between these two Waller runners this weekend.
He will begin as odds-on favourite, currently paying $1.95 with the top betting sites.
Waller was impressed with the performance from Special Swey in the Rough Habit.
“He nailed it, he’s obviously very smart. He knew how slow they were going and decided ‘let’s go’,” he told media after the race.
“He’s still behind Kovalica, but if there’s a chink in Kovalica’s armour he’ll run a strong 2400m.
“Certainly, number two but he’s putting his head up and saying ‘I might enjoy this Queensland life’.”
Kovalica has drawn gate five with James McDonald on board setting up a great opportunity from the decent alley, while Special Swey ($10) has drawn barrier 17 with Nash Rawiller booked to ride.
2023 Queensland Derby field