Dariana in barrier test
Derby-bound filly Dariana will have a barrier test on Tuesday morning to confirm her place in the field for Saturday’s feature at Eagle Farm.
The Bart Cummings-trained filly was the well-supported favourite in Saturday’s Queensland Oaks but didn’t take any part in the race after getting her head across a partition to the next barrier stall.
Although she has never caused any problems at the barriers before, Queensland stewards ordered she must prove to them she can be loaded and jump away.
Provided she gets through the test, Dariana will take her place as one of three runners Cummings hopes to have in the Derby, two of which – Dariana and Brightnight – are part-owned by Dato Tan Chin Nam.
“She has shown no ill-effects from the episode on Saturday,” Dato Tan’s racing manager Duncan Ramage said.
“She will gallop in the morning as well as having her barrier test.
“Fitness-wise the extra week should be no problem.
“The Derby is a stronger field than the Oaks but hopefully this time she draws a barrier.
“Brightnight will be paid up for in the hope that he gets a run.”
Before her Oaks fiasco, Dariana was third in the Doomben Roses, her first start since she won the Group Three Frank Packer Plate at Randwick in April.
Landlord is the most favoured of the Cummings Derby runners at $5.50 on TAB Sportsbet with Dariana at $11 and Brightnight a $17 chance.
Kutchinsky is the $2.80 favourite ahead of The Hombre ($4.80) and Fieldmaster ($5.50).
Brightnight has one victory from his six starts and finished third over 2000 metres on a heavy track at Randwick last Saturday week.
That race was won by the Kevin Moses-trained Let Them Have It who is a $13 chance for the Derby.
Brightnight has earned just $25,850 which may prevent him getting in the field.
Cummings’s most recent win in the Queensland Derby (2400m) was with Empires Choice in 2007.
Oaks winner Miss Keepsake and runner-up Marheta are both scheduled to back-up in the Derby.
The last filly to win the Queensland Derby was the Peter Moody-trained Riva San in 2008 when she also became the fourth filly to claim the Oaks-Derby double.
By Caryll Williamson