Retrieve to step up for Derby
Trainer Peter Snowden says Victoria Derby favourite Retrieve will take improvement out of the Norman Robinson Stakes at Caulfield.
Snowden said he was mindful of timing the preparation of the Rahy colt for Saturday’s Group Three feature two weeks out from the Derby at Flemington.
“He looks really well in himself but the way it works is that this run gets him to his next and into another grand final,” Snowden said.
“If I screw him down too much this week I have got to try and get him up again for the Derby in a fortnight.
“It is all about juggling his training but I’m happy with where he is at the moment.”
Retrieve has won three of his seven starts but has gone to another level after a winter campaign in Melbourne which has stretched into the Sydney spring.
He won the Group Three Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill and was a luckless neck second to stablemate and Gloaming runner-up Erewhon in the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick two weeks ago.
Snowden said Retrieve has trained on since arriving in Melbourne.
“He is coming off a pretty high-rated race and he has done well,” Snowden said.
Snowden will also run last-start Listed Dulcify Quality (1800m) winner Yulalona in the Norman Robinson.
TAB Sportsbet has Retrieve $4.50 favourite for the Derby on October 30 but Yulalona isn’t entered for the Classic.
Snowden hasn’t ruled out Yulalona upsetting Retrieve if he gets the right run.
“Retrieve has a bit more class about him but you certainly couldn’t rule the other horse (Yulalona) out,” Snowden said.
“He has done nothing wrong.”
Yulalona has won three of his five starts but only beat a class one field at Kembla Grange the start before his Dulcify win at Rosehill three weeks ago.
Snowden is looking to revive the impact of the Norman Robinson as a lead-up race to the Derby with Retrieve.
The race hasn’t been a useful guide to the Classic since Amalfi won both races in 2001.
Mark Zahra will ride Retrieve and James Winks takes the reins on Yulalona
They are the form runners while it is a chance for the Tony Vasil-trained Altius and New Zealander Mackadoo to re-establish their Derby credentials.
Both horses need to fire after failing in the UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on October 3.
Stewards reported that Altius made an abnormal respiratory noise after finishing fifth while no excuses could be found for Mackadoo who finished sixth.
Altius has been a beaten favourite at his last two starts and Vasil has stuck with jockey Damien Oliver in the hope of an improved run on Saturday.