Natalie Young reckons barrier draws cost Rising Red and Sully wins in the New Zealand Derby and its Victorian equivalent, and she fears history could repeat at Randwick.
Young, who trains with partner Trent Busuttin, was frustrated after their trio of runners in Saturday’s $2 million Australian Derby (2400m) copped less than ideal alleys on Tuesday.
“We ran second in two Derbys last year because of the barriers and we could be in the same position this year,” Young said.
Rising Red jumped from 17 before finishing runner-up to Gingernuts in the 2017 New Zealand Derby while later in the year Sully ran second in the Victoria Derby to Ace High from barrier 14.
The couple’s leading hope Belfast ($9) drew barrier 17 of 20 in Saturday’s field of 18 plus two emergencies while Salsamor ($11) came up with 19 and Main Stage ($51) 12.
While Young lamented the draw, rival trainer David Payne was delighted after long-time favourite Ace High received barrier two.
Payne had hoped for a slot inside six and now just needs the weather to stay fine to enhance the colt’s chances of claiming a third Group One win.
Four-time Australian Derby winning trainer Murray Baker has four runners with Mongolian Marshal drawing the outside.
Baker and his training partner Andrew Forsman won last year’s Australian Derby with Jon Snow and New Zealand Derby winner Vin De Dance is the most favoured of the quartet.
Vin De Dance ($9) drew barrier four and will be ridden by Jason Waddell who returns from a careless riding suspension which followed the gelding’s relegation from second to fourth in the Rosehill Guineas.
“He can put himself up on the pace and make his own luck like Jon Snow did,” Forsman said.
He added Weather With You ($21) would be ridden positively from barrier one, Mission Hill ($11) would settle midfield regardless from nine, leaving Mongolian Marshal as the odd one out.
“He’s always been ridden off the pace and if you ride him off the pace from barrier 20 you’re going to get a fair way out of your ground so we’ll have to think about that,” Forsman said.
Young tried to look on the bright side where Belfast was concerned as the colt backs up from a fifth in the Tulloch Stakes last Saturday.
“Out of the three he’s the toughest. You could back him up three days later,” she said.
“The way he’s hit the line the last couple of runs I’m sure he’ll get the 2400.”