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Sportsbet have teamed up with former champion jockey Mick Dittman to give his insights into the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

Not only did Dittman tip Mongolian Khan to win the Caulfield Cup, he jagged the trifecta in last weekend’s Cox Plate – who does Dittman like in the VRC Derby?


“Derby day at Flemington is one of the best race meetings in the world.”

This Saturday we have four Group 1’s, two with well supported  favourites, but leave me right out of taking the short odds.”

“Tarzino may very well win the Victoria Derby, but he won’t get a cent of my money at $2.30. Exosphere is an outstanding animal, but again the short odds of $1.40, in the Coolmore Stakes, holds absolutely no appeal.”

“Tarzino is entitled to be favourite. His runs have been good and he’s screaming out for more ground, but he’s a backmarker and from barrier 10 I’m concerned he will get too far out of his ground.”

“Take into account that none of these horses have been beyond 2200m and here they have to run 2500m. With a query on many of them staying the trip no riders will want to go quick so the speed can tend to be quiet slow in the early and middle stages.”

“If he gets the race run to suit I think Tarzino can win. However, if it is slowly run and Tarzino ends up back in the bleachers he’s going to find it very difficult to run them down.”

“I actually like Lizard Island, he’ll stay all day.  He’s had a couple of tough runs, is very fit and should get the gun run and he lets down pretty quickly.  Extra Choice also has a great chance at a top three finish.”

“My concern with Exosphere is the barrier. He’s drawn close to the rails for his first go at Flemington and there’s a real risk he could get caught up in traffic.”

“If those outside him cross and Exosphere has to go back and gets clamped up he could be there until Sunday.”

“Yes, he’s an outstanding animal, the best horse in the race and I have him on top, but the old adage of “odds-on look on” definitely applies.”

“Ready For Victory is a horse who will be suited. He’s a winner down the straight, races on the bunny, has D Oliver aboard and is a definite threat to Exosphere.”

“I expect a lot of improvement from the Singapore trained horse, Super One. He only went average at Cranbourne, but I watched him trial down the Flemington straight and he went very well. Rarely do horses trial like he did and not perform well.”

“The Mackinnon Stakes is a lottery.”

“A lot of these old horses have been going average or getting no luck.”

“Several will appreciate returning to Flemington. One of them that will be right at home is Happy Trails, he could jump out of the ground in this.”

“Rising Romance, Gailo Chop and Magic Hurricane are all in the mix, but luck will play a big part.”

“There is no doubt Royal Descent is the best mare in the Myer Classic, but with the featherweight on her back I like Stay With Me.”

“It is a big class rise for Stay With Me, but she is up to it and the 49kgs gives her a big advantage. Peter Moody’s mare Abidewithme looks a live chance in another tough race.”


Lizard Island 1, Tarzino 2, Extra Choice 3.

Coolmore Stakes:

Exosphere 1, Ready For Victory 2, Super One 3.

Mackinnon Stakes:

Happy Trails 1, Gailo Chop 2, Rising Romance/Magic Hurricane 3.

Myer Classic:

Stay With Me 1, Royal Descent 2, Abidewithme 3.

Market courtesy of

VRC Derby

$2.30   Tarzino                        (steady)

$8.00   Kia Ora Koutou            (steady)

$10      Lizard Island                (in from $13)

$11      Get The Picture           (steady)

$12      Extra Choice                (steady)

$13      Pay Up Bro                  (steady)

$13      Shards                         (in from $17)

$17      Etymology                   (steady)

$21      Man Of Choice            (steady)

$26      Colonel Cluster           (steady)

$26      Jadeer                         (steady)

$34      Ayers Rock                  (out from $26)

$51      Iron Boss                     (out from $41)

$51      Palace Tycoon             (steady)

$81      Scadden’s Run             (steady)

$101    Red Alto                      (steady)

$101    Bullish Stock                (steady)

*Existing customers only. 2nd Racing bet. Excl SA & WA. T’s & C’s apply. Gamble responsibly.
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