Tiger looking for chink in Whobegotyou's armour
Like many other trainers, Colin Alderson is hoping the chink in Whobegotyou’s armour is that he can’t run 2500 metres.
Alderson and his training partner, daughter Cindy, will saddle up The Tiger in Saturday’s Victoria Derby at Flemington and although happy with his own horse he admits he is searching for a weakness in the odds-on favourite.
"If Whobegotyou can run a mile and a half he’s unbeatable," Alderson said.
"But he has got to settle and do it. Surely he can’t keep winning.
"All the horses are getting to a zone they’ve never been to before and it will be a matter of which ones can run the distance.
"We are pretty happy with our horse. He races like a genuine stayer and I think he will be a very serious horse in the future."
The Tiger earned his way into the Derby with his win in last week’s Geelong Classic (2206m) which he led from start to finish, beating New Zealander and Derby rival My Scotsgrey by 2-3/4 lengths.
However, Alderson said he did not think The Tiger, who drew barrier 10 of 15, would necessarily lead in the Derby.
"It’s not our intention to lead," he said.
"We’ll sit down and work out the pace in the race and who will be coming across.
"The Tiger has raced behind the pace before. I’m not overly concerned about the barrier.
"It’s the pilot’s job to work it out."
The Tiger will be ridden by Rhys McLeod who rode him to victory at Geelong.
Although he was sired by a Golden Slipper winner in Catbird, Alderson said The Tiger gained strength and stamina from his dam’s side.
"He is bred on the same cross as the Western Australian Derby winner Cats Fun and the cross seems to work," he said.
The Mark Kavanagh-trained Whobegotyou drew barrier four and is as short as $1.55 with The Tiger at $26 with TAB Sportsbet.
My Scotsgrey was at $16 with trainer Shaune Ritchie the least concerned about barriers, resigned to the fact the gelding will miss the start as he has at his three previous starts.
"It doesn’t matter, it’s irrelevant to me," Ritchie said.
"He walks out of the gates, that’s just him."
"But over 2500 metres at Flemington I don’t think it’s that significant.
"He’s a very laid-back horse and he doesn’t pull or do things wrong so he should be able to tack on to the field."
Ritchie went home to New Zealand after the Geelong race and arrived back in Melbourne yesterday and was pleased with what he saw.
"The horse is in good order, it’s just a matter of whether he is good enough," he said.
"Behind the favourite I don’t think there’s a great deal of depth and hopefully we can be up there."
My Scotsgrey is by Golan, the sire of last year’s Derby winner Kibbutz, out of My Chameleon who is by Grosvenor who won the race in 1982.
He will be ridden by Craig Williams who won on Kibbutz but has found himself out of favour with some this spring and has been replaced by Corey Brown on the David Hayes-trained Wookah, a half-brother to multiple Group One winner Desert War.
By Caryl Williamson