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3 c Encosta de Lago – Miss Opera (half-brother to six-time G1 winner Sir Slick)
Owner: Monovale Farm (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Peter and Jacob McKay (no Derby wins)
Rider: Michael Walker (Military Move 2010)
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 13:4-1-3
Stakes races:
1st Great Northern Guineas (G2)
1st Waikato Guineas (G2)
1st Avondale Guineas (G2)
3rd Champagne Stakes (L, 2yo)
4th New Zealand 2000 Guineas (G1)
4th Levin Classic (G1)
5th Matamata Slipper (L, 2yo)

He took eight starts to clear maidens, but since then his record is four wins from six starts, the other two being G1 fourths. Any thoughts of his Great Northern Guineas win being a fluke have been destroyed by brilliant wins in the Waikato and Avondale Guineas, dominating from in front after a rocky trip up to and around the first turn. His performances along the road to the Derby have been unbelievable, and he towers over his opposition in terms of what he’s achieved so far. The rightful and deserving favourite for NZ’s greatest race.
Odds: opened at $41; $18 after Great Northern Guineas; $9 after Waikato Guineas; now $3.20 (favourite).

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3 g Falkirk – Luscious Lass (Falkirk sired Hong Kong Derby winner Fay Fay)
Owner: K Lau, S Fung, S Wong and D Chan (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Shaune Ritchie (Military Move 2010)
Rider: Mark du Plessis (no Derby wins)
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 7:3-2-1
Stakes races:
2nd Wellington Stakes (G3)
3rd Avondale Guineas (G2)
4th Waikato Guineas (G2)

One of the most consistent horses of this year’s 3-year-old crop, Glorious Lad has never finished further back than fourth – and that fourth in the Waikato Guineas was arguably unlucky. And you have to take notice when Shaune Ritchie, trainer of Derby winner Military Move and Oaks winners Keep The Peace and Artistic, says he’s “as exciting a 3-year-old as I’ve ever had”. Finished solidly in the Avondale Guineas last time out. But Falkirk has been primarily a speed sire in New Zealand, and there remain doubts about Glorious Lad at a mile and a half. There’s only one way to find out, and that’s on Derby day.
Odds: opened at $28; $12 on Jan 12; $7 second favourite after Waikato Guineas; now $10 (fifth favourite)

3 c Darci Brahma – Glamoury
Owner: J Naito (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Toby Autridge & Cyril Goodwin (no Derby wins)
Rider: Craig Grylls (no Derby wins)
Astonishingly, just a $7,000 purchase at the National Yearling Sale. One of the fairy tale stories of this year’s Derby.
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 15:2-3-2
Stakes races:
3rd Wellington Guineas (G2)
3rd Wellington Stakes (G3)
4th Avondale Guineas (G2)
10th Levin Classic (G1)

An extremely underrated colt who hardly ever runs a bad race but never gets the respect and accolades he deserves. To be fair, his only wins have been in maiden and rating 65 grade, so his hopes of actually winning the Derby seem a little bleak. But it would be no surprise to see him run another brave, strong race and nab a placing.
Odds: $41 (11th favourite)

3 g Any Suggestion – Deune
Owner: McVean Racing Ltd, A Moore, C & L Betts, A Gore, D & P Fullerton, W A & N M Bishop
Trainer: Jeff McVean (Leica Guv 2001) & Emma-Lee Browne
Rider: Opie Bosson (no Derby wins)
$35,000 purchase at the National Yearling Sale.
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 10:1-2-0
Stakes races:
2nd Championship Stakes (G2)
6th Waikato Guineas (G2)
7th Avondale Guineas (G2)

Finished powerfully into second place, just a head behind Show The World, in the G2 Championship Stakes on Jan 1. His last two races haven’t been as good – beaten by 5.1 lengths and 7.6 lengths – but the way he finishes seems like he’s got the stamina to still be going strongly at the end of the gruelling 2400m of the Derby. He may not have the class of some of the others, but he could outlast them. It’s hard to see him winning, but he could definitely place. The Opie Bosson factor is a big assist.
Odds: opened at $41; now $25 (sixth favourite)

3 g Duelled – Vargas Diamond
Owner: G Rogerson & Whitby Bloodstock (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Graeme & Debbie Rogerson (no Derby wins)
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 12:1-2-0
Stakes races:
2nd Waikato Guineas (G2)
5th Championship Stakes (G2)
11th Avondale Guineas (G2)

One of the most inconsistent horses in this field. His maiden win was an incredible runaway romp, and his Waikato Guineas second placing was massively commendable. Apart from that, he’s shown little in his 12-start racing career, and his Avondale Guineas performance was really poor. If the good Colonel Carrera shows up on Derby day, he’s a big chance. But will he?
Odds: $60 (17th favourite)

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3 c Testa Rossa – Sweetness ‘N’ Light (the 2nd dam, Tricia Ann, is also the dam of multiple stakes winner La Sizeranne; also the family of Derby winner and great sire Grosvenor)
Owner: D Hayes & S Prenter (no Derby wins)
Trainer: David Hayes (no Derby wins)
Rider: Kelly Myers (no Derby wins)
A $140,000 purchase at auction as a yearling.
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 10:2-2-2
Stakes races:
2nd Ryder Stakes (L, 2yo)
3rd Waikato Guineas (G2)
8th New Zealand 2000 Guineas (G1)
8th Levin Classic (G1)

Flying along under the radar until his powerful finish into third in the Waikato Guineas. Looks likely to love the step up to 2400m.
Odds: $31 in January; $19 before Waikato Guineas; now $9 (fourth favourite)

3 g Thorn Park – En Passant (Thorn Park sired 2011 Derby hero Jimmy Choux)
Owner: Go Racing Syndicate
Trainer: Lisa Latta (no Derby wins)
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 8:2-2-0
Stakes races:
7th Levin Classic (G1)
10th Avondale Guineas (G2)

When he’s good, this Thorn Park gelding is seriously good. His wins at Otaki and Awapuni were stunning. But in between and since those performances, he’s fallen way short of that level. It’s hard to know what you’re going to get from him. But his A game could make him a factor in the Derby.
Odds: $41 (11th favourite)

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3 g Guillotine – Ascot Isle
Owner: M Wyborn & R Peel-Walker (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Mike Moroney (Great Command 1996, Cut The Cake 2003, Xcellent 2004) & Chad Ormsby
Rider: Leith Innes (Wahid 2006)
$100,000 purchase at the National Yearling Sale.
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 5:2-0-0
Stakes races:
6th Great Northern Guineas (G2)

A latecomer who only forced his way into the Derby field with an Ellerslie win on Feb 15. That was his first race over further than a mile, and this gelding was in his element. He was strong and tough and highly impressive. He may have only just made it into the field, but he looks like a powerful runner who’s peaking at the right time. This is a huge step up in class, but he might be a surprise package.
Odds: $31  (9th favourite)

3 c Fastnet Rock – Secret Silence
Owner: Able International (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Bruce Wallace (no Derby wins)
Rider: Johnathon Parkes (no Derby wins)
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 12:1-0-2
Stakes races:
1st Champagne Stakes (L,2yo)
3rd Karaka Mile (L)
3rd Trevor Eagle Memorial (L)
4th Championship Stakes (G2)
6th Avondale Guineas (G2)

Hasn’t been able to repeat his impressive stakes win as a 2-year-old, but he’s produced some useful performances this season. It’s just a bit hard to see him turning around the 7-length margin Puccini beat him by in their last meeting, and his pedigree has some question marks around stamina – his brother Albany Reunion is a very speedy, stakes-placed sprinter.
Odds: $41 (11th favourite)

3 g Civics – Southern Triumph
Owner: S Boshier, M Cunningham, P Dobson, J & A Parnwell (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Lee Somervell (no Derby wins)
Rider: Trudy Thornton (no Derby wins)
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 12:2-1-2
Stakes races:
4th Trevor Eagle Memorial (L)
9th Great Northern Guineas (G2)
15th Waikato Guineas (G2)
15th Avondale Guineas (G2)

Those yellow silks of the Parnwell-Somervell combination have had some great moments at Ellerslie, most notably the Group 1 Railway win by top mare Fleur de Lune. It’s hard to see them adding another one here. This horse has finished last in both the Waikato Guineas and Avondale Guineas. He did a lot better last weekend back down in rating 75 grade, but this looks like too big a mountain to climb.
Odds: $101 (21st favourite)

3 g Towkay – Franchice
Owner: K Dixon, P Finlayson, L Latta, M Masters, M Passey, A Rennie & T Tomlins (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Lisa Latta (no Derby wins)
Rider: Sam Spratt (no Derby wins)
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 7:1-1-2
No stakes races.

An admirable model of consistency in lower grades – never further back than fifth in his seven starts – this is a daunting first crack at stakes level for the son of Towkay. Two starts ago he finished within a length of leading Oaks prospect Chop Chop, and last time out he was right up behind Habitual Offender, so there’s some ability there. He could finish in the top half of the field, but it’s hard to see Mr Frankey providing a first Derby triumph to Lisa Latta and Sam Spratt.
Odds: $51 (14th favourite)

3 g Savabeel – Lynisky
Owner: Fortuna Racing (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Jason Bridgman (no Derby wins)
Rider: Hayden Tinsley (no Derby wins)
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 9:1-2-0
Stakes races:
4th Canterbury Stakes (L)
4th Championship Stakes Prelude (L)
6th Trevor Eagle Memorial (L)
10th Waikato Guineas (G2)

He’s looked good in lower grades, such as his maiden win and some strong efforts in listed company. But against the horses he’s facing in the Derby, he’s come up short so far – more than six lengths adrift of Puccini in the Waikato Guineas. He’ll have to lift his game significantly.
Odds: $60 (17th favourite)

3 g Coats Choice – Cruella
Owner: A Bradley, D R Frampton, A M Goodwin, J E Harman & W M Woods (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Donna & Dean Logan (Habibi 2013)
Rider: Vinnie Colgan (Roysyn 1995, Zonda 1997, Hades 1999, Redoute’s Dancer 2007, Habibi 2013)
$62,000 purchase at the National Yearling Sale.
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 9-1-1-3
No stakes races

Having done all his racing in much lower grades, Stand Your Ground faces a mountainous step up in class for his tilt at the Derby. But his performances in his last few starts have been excellent. He was third to subsequent Waikato Guineas runner-up Colonel Carerra at Ellerslie, then won strongly at Ellerslie, then had another good third at Ellerslie. The only blot on that form line is his last start, when he finished 11th of 12, but he never had any room to move at any point down the home stretch and never had the chance to accelerate. Donna Logan has warned us not to be surprised if Stand Your Ground is “right in it”. Another big thing in Stand Your Ground’s favour is Vinnie Colgan, five-time Derby winner, who has picked him as his 2014 Derby mount.
Odds: $26 (seventh favourite)

3 g Authorized – Lady Zhivago (Authorized himself was an Epsom Derby winner)
Owner: JML Bloodstock (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman (no Derby wins)
Rider: Chris Johnson (no Derby wins)
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 10:1-1-4
Stakes races:
9th Championship Stakes (G2)

He was out of his depth in his only try at stakes level on Jan 1, but seems to have grown into a completely different horse since then – his results since that race have been third, third, first and an unlucky third. He’s rapidly developing and improving, and his pedigree suggests he’ll have plenty of stamina for this test. One of the live longshots.
Odds: $30 (10th favourite)

3 g Pentire – Charmaine (Pentire sired 2004 Derby winner Xcellent. Charmaine is the dam of stakes-placed Charma)
Owner: B Devine, Sir Colin & Lady Meads, T Moore, M & E Oram, C Robertson, N & J Toy, A & N Walters (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Stephen Marsh (no Derby wins)
Rider: Noel Harris (Hail 2000)
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 7:1-1-0
Stakes races:
8th Championship Stakes (G2)
10th Karaka Mile (L)

14 years ago, Noel Harris won the Derby aboard Hail for trainer Bruce Marsh. This time he’s riding a Derby hope for another Marsh – Bruce’s son Stephen. But this gelding seems less well-credentialed, with only a maiden win and a rating 65 second to show for his seven starts so far. Stephen Marsh and part-owner/legendary former rugby player Colin Meads combined for a Group 1 win during this week last year with Ruud Awakening, but there’s been little to suggest Chipandchase is a serious chance of making lightning strike twice.
Odds: $51 (14th favourite)

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3 f Ekraar – Post Romance (Ekraar is the sire of 2013 Derby winner Habibi, as well as other G1-winning females Shez Sinsational and Ekstreme)
Owner: John Carter, Brian Carter and Ross Powell (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Donna and Dean Logan (Habibi 2013)
Rider: Michael Coleman (Cut The Cake 2003, Xcellent 2004)
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 7:3-1-1
Stakes races:
1st Royal Stakes (G2)
1st Trevor Eagle Memorial (L)
2nd Avondale Guineas (G2)
3rd Eight Carat Classic (G2)

Since her shock win as a 35-1 longshot in the Trevor Eagle, Rising Romance has just got better and better with every race. She dominated in the Royal Stakes, and then, after a six-week break, came back with a strong-closing second in the Avondale Guineas. She looks like the only horse out of that race with the potential to turn the tables on Puccini in the Derby. It’s deja vu – an Ekraar filly, trained by the Logans, running a solid race in the Avondale and about to peak in the Derby. Can she follow in Habibi’s footsteps? The Logans would become the first trainers to win the Derby back-to-back since Mike Moroney in 2003-4.
Odds: opened at $40; $6 favourite after Royal Stakes; now $4 (second favourite).

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3 f O’Reilly – Scenic Sprint (O’Reilly is the sire of one previous NZ Derby winner – Silent Achiever, 2012)
Owner: Te Akau Stud (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Jason Bridgman (no Derby wins)
Rider: Matt Cameron (no Derby wins)
A $60,000 purchase at auction as a yearling.
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 7:4-2-1
Stakes races:
1st Soliloquy Stakes (L)
1st Karaka Mile (L)
2nd Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic (G2)
2nd Sarten Memorial (G3)
3rd New Zealand 1000 Guineas (G1)

This is a seriously good filly who’s shown freakish ability in her brief career so far – like in her seven-length demolition of the Soliloquy Stakes and a romp in the swamp in the Karaka Mile. There were doubts about her stamina, but she dispelled them with a strong-closing second in the Sir Tristram – coming from way back, and off a slow pace. She’s undefeated in three races at Ellerslie, two of them stakes.
Maybe she can make it three years in a row for fillies. Maybe she can give Te Akau their long-overdue first Derby win following several near-misses, the most recent being runner-up Rock ‘N’ Pop in 2012.
Odds: $41 in January; $31 two weeks ago; now $7 (third favourite).

3 f Sir Percy – Burning Desire (from the first crop of Epsom Derby winner Sir Percy)
Owner: Betalert Ltd, I McCarrison, P Moroney, J Vaughan & G Williams (McCarrison and Moroney won the 2004 Derby with Xcellent; Moroney also won in 2003 with Cut The Cake)
Trainer: Mike Moroney (Great Command 1996, Cut The Cake 2003, Xcellent 2004) & Chad Ormsby
Rider: Mark Sweeney (no Derby wins)
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 6:2-1-2
Stakes races:
3rd Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic (G2)

Ran a terrific race to finish third, two lengths behind Hera and pellbinder, in the Sir Tristram. Looks likely to thrive over the testing 2400m. Could be more of a chance in this than many are giving her credit for.
Odds: $26 (seventh favourite)

3 g Stravinsky – Shall We Dance (so a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Pulcinella)
Owner: C & L Betts (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Jeff McVean (Leica Guv 2001) & Emma-Lee Browne
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 8:1-0-1
Stakes races:
11th Great Northern Guineas (G2)

Needs one scratching to make the field. He’s run a couple of decent races, but hasn’t really shown enough to be considered a huge chance in this.
Odds: $81 (20th favourite)

3 g Don Eduardo – Just Polly (Don Eduardo, still the all-time record for most expensive yearling ever sold in NZ at $3.4m, won the Derby in Sydney as a 3-year-old)
Owner: JML Bloodstock & M Wyborn (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Mike Moroney (Great Command 1996, Cut The Cake 2003, Xcellent 2004) & Chad Ormsby
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 5:1-0-0
Stakes races:
5th Waikato Guineas (G2)

Needs two scratchings to make the field. Ran an excellent race at massive odds in the Waikato Guineas, finishing just 3.2 lengths behind Puccini. Seemed to be peaking at the right time and about to do something special to thrust his way into the Derby field, but finished a hugely disappointing seventh in weaker company next time out. But he’d be an intriguing runner if he ran up to the Waikato Guineas level again.
Odds: $51 (15th favourite)

3 g Spartacus – Mintelle
Owner: D Karreman/The Oaks Stud (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Ralph Manning (no Derby wins)
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 4:1-1-0
No stakes races

Needs three scratchings to make the field. In 2006 The Oaks Stud came so close to Derby glory with Roman Chariot, beaten only by determined front-runner Wahid. They haven’t come as close since. This year looked like being their best chance with exciting 3-year-old All Torn Up, but that fell apart in a pre-race disaster at the Waikato Guineas that saw him come out of that race and off the Derby trail. Talented gelding In A Minute is his replacement, and his performances so far suggest he’s not quite at the same level. A well-beaten eighth behind Habitual Offender last time out.
Odds: $81 (20th favourite)

3 g Volksraad – Shock (Volksraad sired 2010 Derby winner Military Move. Shock was a stakes performer herself)
Owner: Tokomutu Syndicate (no Derby wins)
Trainer: Graeme Sanders (no Derby wins)
(Starts:1st-2nd-3rd): 11:1-2-1
No stakes races

Needs an extremely unlikely four scratchings to make the field, and best performances have been on slow to heavy ground. Not likely to figure.
Odds: $126 (22nd favourite)

By Richard Edmunds