2021 Australian Derby Preview

A big field of quality staying three year old’s will contest the Group 1 Australian Derby over 2400m on Saturday at Royal Randwick.

The race has been won by champion horses such as Phar Lap, Tulloch, Kingston Town and Octagonal.

Our full 2021 Australian Derby Preview can be found below.

Lion’s Roar

Lion’s Roar finished outside the top 3 for just the second time in his eight start career when finishing fourth in the Rosehill Guineas.

He was beaten under two lengths behind Mo’unga in that race and was working to the line well.

This is his first test beyond 2000m but he looks like a horse that will handle the step up in distance well and he will be fit enough for the challenge.

He is proven at this level of racing having won the Group 1 Randwick Guineas earlier this prep and is one of the leading chances.

Brenton Avdulla will pilot from barrier 13.

Rocket Spade

Rocket Spade gets his chance at the top level in Australia having taken out the Group 1 New Zealand Derby in early March.

Connections decided to have one more run in New Zealand before bringing the talented colt over to Australia and he won a 1600m race by over two lengths in preparation for this assignment.

The son of Fastnet Rock has won five of his nine career starts but this is a another step up in class now.

We know he runs the distance and that he is fit enough.

Is he classy enough?

Sky Lab

Sky lab was excellent when making the big jump in class to Group 1 level last start, narrowly denied by Mo’unga in the Rosehill Guineas.

He clearly relishes the sting out of the track with his best racing on soft or heavy tracks and the distance should not be an issue for the son of Real Impact.

James McDonald steers from barrier six.


Milford was only narrowly defeated by Rocket Spade in the New Zealand Derby before heading to Australia for the Rosehill Guineas.

He was well beaten in his Australia debut when finishing almost 10 lengths behind Mo’unga and he will need to improve dramatically to figure in this race.

The discrepancy in price between this horse and Rocket Spade is ridiculous considering their last meeting.

The Frontman

Another horse that comes through the New Zealand form and another that was off the mark in their first Australian run.

He finished eighth (of 10) in the Tulloch Stakes at Rosehill on the weekend with many Derby contenders going passed him in the final 200m.

He looks outclassed here.


The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Yaletown became a Group 2 winner at just his fourth career start on Saturday when winning the Tulloch Stakes at Rosehill.

The son of Vancouver led from start to finish in the 2000m event, as did many throughout the day, and it was hard not to be impressed by the win.

Was he a beneficiary of a bias track and can he run out the 2400m?

Young Werther

Young Werther comes into the Australian Derby at his fifth run this prep and he has been placed at his last two in a row.

The son of Tavistock is a genuine stayer on the rise who will benefit from the step up in trip at this stage in his prep.

He was doing his best work late at Rosehill behind Yaletown on Saturday on a track that was difficult to make up ground on and Tom Marquand will steer from barrier 14.


Khoekhoe has won three times from 10 career starts and been unplaced just four times.

He returned from a spell with a nice third in the Group 2 Autumn Classic at Caulfield before finishing sixth in the Rosehill Guineas.

He is unproven beyond 2000m but there has been support for the horse in early betting suggesting the horse is going well.

Craig Williams will have plenty of options from barrier three.

Prompt Prodigy

Prompt Prodigy made the big step up in grade in the Tulloch Stakes on the weekend and the son of More Than Ready finished within half a length of Yaletown.

He broke through for his maiden win at Newcastle back in January and has finished within half a length at his next three in a row.

He is a progressive type and it would not surprise to see him run a nice race here but I’m unsure he is a winning chance against some classy staying types.

Rachel King will pilot from barrier nine.

Explosive Jack

The Tasmanian Derby winner Explosive Jack comes into this Group 1 on the back of two placings at Group level.

He was well beaten by Grandslam at The Valley before finishing within a length of Liqueuro in the Bendigo St Leger over 2200m last start.

This may be a a touch task in just his first preparation but he is plenty fit and there has been some early money for him at a big price.

John Allen steers from barrier 15.


Cian Maher and David Eustace saddle up Toscanini in the 2021 Australian Derby.

He was beaten 8.7 lengths in a benchmark 78 at Warwick Farm last start and he will need to improve dramatically to figure in a race of this quality.

Jamie Kah will ride from barrier 5.


Favreau has progressed through the grades really well and has earned his shot at Group 1 racing after a solid fourth in the Tulloch Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.

On a day where it was very hard to make up ground, he was doing his best work late to get within 1.1. lengths of the winner Yaletown.

His win at Kembla Grange two back showed that he is a horse with a fair amount of ability when he produced a really sharp turn of foot over 1600m.

His breeding suggests that he will only get better with the further he goes and despite the awkward barrier (18), he is one of the leading chances.


Rondino won a Benchmark 64 at Hawkesbury two starts back before being outclassed on Saturday in the Tulloch Stakes.

Would need to improve dramatically to be any chance here.

Keagan Latham steers from barrier 11.


Zakspeed made a huge step up in grade when finishing within two lengths of Yaletown in the Tylloch Stakes on Saturday.

There is nothing in his breeding that suggests he will see out the 2400m but he is better than a $101 chance when watching the replay of his last start.

Olympic Gaze

Unlike many in this race, Olympic Gaze is a horse that has won over this distance (2300m).

He won that race at Muswellbrook in February by half a length but has failed to place in two subsequent runs.

Looks outclassed here but Damian Lane has drawn the inside barrier.


Montefilia is looking to become the first filly to win the Australian Derby since Shamrocker in 2011.

The daughter of Kermadec is already a two-time Group 1 winner having won the Flight Stakes and Spring Champion Stakes in the spring when she beat the boys.

She was flashing down the outside when getting within a length of Mo’unga in the Rosehill Guineas and the step up in distance at this stage in her prep looks ideal.

It looks as though she will start as favourite with Jason Collett steering from barrier four.

The one to beat.

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