Relucent has followed a similar path to the Victoria Derby as Preferment and trainer Chris Waller is hoping for the same result in this year’s Classic at Flemington.
The Waller-trained Preferment won the Group One Victoria Derby as a maiden in 2014 and Relucent is striving for his first win when he runs in Saturday’s $2 million edition of the 2500m staying test for three-year-olds.
Relucent’s past three starts have been in the same races Preferment used as his Derby lead-ups, including last week’s Geelong Classic (2200m).
Preferment finished second at Geelong while Relucent was third.
“Relucent is going very well,” Waller said.
“He’s got a very similar profile to Preferment who won the race as a maiden and Relucent is a maiden as well.
“We’ve followed a very similar path. He’s had lots of racing which I think he has needed just to help bring him up to this level.
“He’s by Savabeel and you wouldn’t expect the Derby distance to be any concern, and probably it’s a big asset to him to have that staying bloodline.”
Relucent is among a field of 16 which has been declared for Saturday’s Derby with Group One Spring Champion Stakes winner Shadow Hero drawing barrier 10.
Caulfield Classic winner Thought Of That has barrier one and will have a new rider, with Linda Meech replaced by Mark Zahra despite Meech riding him to his two wins at his past two starts.
Thought Of That broke his maiden by eight lengths in a Donald maiden two starts ago before his front-running win in the Group Three Caulfield Classic (2000m).
Shadow Hero, who galloped on the course proper at Flemington on Tuesday, is the $3 favourite after the draw with Thought Of That at $4 while last Saturday’s Group Two Vase (2040m) winner Soul Patch is at $6 after coming up with barrier two.
Relucent, to be ridden by three-time Victoria Derby-winning jockey Hugh Bowman, has barrier four.
Relucent raced outside the lead in the Geelong Classic and battled on for third behind fellow Derby contenders Long Jack (barrier 16) and Southern Moon (barrier eight).
“Ideally he would get cover and that was the plan last start but he just jumped a little too well and he was stepping from a mile to 2200 metres,” Waller said.
“Now that he’s had that run over 2200 metres you’d expect him to settle well.”