Connections of Favreau put their Derby dreams on ice in the spring and trainer John Sargent has been strategically plotting a path to the autumn classic ever since.
The three-year-old demonstrated staying promise with an eye-catching fourth in the Gloaming Stakes but after getting out of his ground when a soundly-beaten fifth to Montefilia in the Spring Champion Stakes, Sargent knew the gelding wasn’t seasoned enough for a Victoria Derby tilt.
“I thought he was a bit immature last campaign. He couldn’t get himself into races and didn’t tactically know what to do,” Sargent said.
“That’s why we pulled him out of the Derby in Melbourne and we decided to aim for this Derby.”
It has been a steady build up for Favreau, who has strung together successive victories at his past two starts at Canberra and Kembla Grange, both stepping stones to the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
The Tulloch has been an outstanding guide to the Australian Derby in recent years, a fact not lost on his trainer.
“This is the right race, four of the last five winners of the Tulloch have gone on to win the Derby so we’ve been aiming him here,” Sargent said.
“He is bred for it. He is learning to chase and not just to grind home. I will leave it to James (McDonald) as to what he does from the gate.”
Favreau has drawn the outside barrier in the field of 12.
McDonald will be warming the saddle on Saturday with the suspended Tommy Berry set to return in time to partner Favreau in the Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick seven days later.