Special Swey, Kovalica set for Queensland Derby showdown

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is ready to prove how special he is when he lines up in the A$1 million Derby this Saturday at Eagle Farm in Brisbane, Australia.

In his way over the 2400m journey is not only the carpark draw, but also the first clash with his talented stablemate .

Joining the stable, Special Swey won by 1.5 lengths in the Group 3 earlier this month on his Australian debut when paying +2500 with Bovada.

Under , the Sweynesse x Mia Mamma gelding caused the boilover after taking the lead from the jump without any contest and then kicking clear in the home straight to hold on from .

2023 Rough Habit Plate replay

Winner: Special Swey

The stage is now set for a huge battle over the 2400m with The Vowels and Tapildoodledo also throwing down the challenge in the feature for three-year-olds.

Kovalica (8:5-0-2) triumphed in the Group 2 before finishing third in the Group 1 Doomben Cup but was scratched from the Rough Habit, so all eyes will be on the contest between these two Waller runners this weekend.

He will begin as odds-on favourite, currently paying -105.26 with the top betting sites.

Waller was impressed with the performance from Special Swey in the Rough Habit.

“He nailed it, he's obviously very smart. He knew how slow they were going and decided ‘let's go',” he told media after the race.

“He's still behind Kovalica, but if there's a chink in Kovalica's armour he'll run a strong 2400m.

“Certainly, number two but he's putting his head up and saying ‘I might enjoy this Queensland life'.”

Kovalica has drawn gate five with on board setting up a great opportunity from the decent alley, while Special Swey has drawn barrier 17 with Nash Rawiller booked to ride.

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