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Tough Derby draw for Warmonger

May 28, 2024 at 4:08:46 AM

Warmonger will have to overcome the widest barrier to win the Queensland Derby.

Blake Shinn is one of Australia's leading riders, but he will need to go to even greater heights if he can land the Queensland Derby on Warmonger.

The Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained three-year-old drew the widest gate in the Group 1 race over 2400m at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Warmonger drew barrier 23 but will start from gate 18 with five emergencies also declared.

Having drawn so wide, it is expected Warmonger will need to be ridden in his recent pattern of getting back beyond midfield, coming with a late surge.

Those tactics were used aboard Warmonger when second in the South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville at his most recent outing.

Warmonger had three runs in Adelaide during the Carnival and Kent Jnr said a silver lining from the gelding being a get-back and run-on galloper was that he was pulling up so well from each run.

"He's still got plenty of petrol left in the tank and he's been thriving since Adelaide," Kent Jnr said.

"He's put on weight, muscle and maintained his summer coat.

"He had two Brisbane-way gallops on the grass before he left, and I think the horse is flying."

Kent Jnr is banking on a truer tempo on Saturday after the South Australian Derby was run at a more leisurely pace.

He said third placegetter Air Assault led and dictated the speed after being considered a suspect stayer.

"As soon as Air Assault got the lead, he dropped anchor. They were fearful he wouldn't stay and he went 14 (seconds) to the furlong," Kent Jnr said.

"We took the blinkers off in an effort to make him jump better and settle better, and he raced tractably so they're staying off, and hopefully Blake can find a spot midfield on the big Eagle Farm track."

Warmonger was posted an $8.50 in revised markets after the barrier draw on Tuesday.

Just like her Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman-trained stablemate I Wish I Win in the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup (1200m), Autumn Angel came up with barrier one and is the $2.60 Derby favourite ahead of the Chris Waller-trained Tannhauser at $4.20.

Moody and Coleman have also elected to run Saban ($23) which drew gate 16 and will be ridden by Jamie Kah.

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