Barrier 10 may not always seem ideal but for Victoria Derby favourite Tarzino it’s close to ideal.
At least that’s how trainer Mick Price sees it.
And the first thing Price did after he came up with the 10 gate was to make the race tactics clear to chief steward Terry Bailey who was officiating Wednesday’s barrier draw.
“It’s perfect,” Price said.
“The first thing I will be doing is to tell the stewards we will be going forward from there.
“We should be able to get a nice cart across with Shards (11) and Ayers Rock (12).
Tarzino’s jockey Craig Newitt was quizzed by stewards on Saturday after the colt’s third in the Group Two Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley after he got a long way back from barrier nine of 11.
Tarzino has been the long-time favourite for the 2500m staying test and that hasn’t changed.
He remains at $2.30 in a static market after the barrier draw.
Perth visitor Kia Ora Koutou is the $9 second favourite to become the first horse from the west to win the Derby since Plastered.
The Adam Durrant-trained Kia Ora Koutou is unbeaten in four starts and will have his regular partner Joe Azzopardi aboard when he jumps from the inside gate.
The 20-year-old is no stranger to Flemington having spent almost six months in Melbourne last year as an apprentice with Leon and Troy Corstens.
Five times Perth’s premier trainer, Durrant is looking to break through at Group One level in the east with his former stable star Mr Moet’s third in the 2013 CF Orr Stakes his best result so far.
As well as Shards ($19) to be ridden by Hugh Bowman, Godolphin has Etymology ($17) who will be steered from barrier nine by James McDonald.
Veteran jockey Darren Gauci is in charge of the Shawn Mathrick-trained Ayers Rock ($26).
Mathrick agreed with Price that Ayers Rock would have to press forward from the gate but hoped he was not left in front.
“With a bit of luck there’s someone else who will sort of take it up and we’ll just sit off them,” Mathrick said.
The tactics will be the opposite for Spring Champion Stakes third placegetter Man Of Choice ($26) who drew barrier 16.
“He will be going back from there but I’m not too concerned,” trainer Luke Price said.
“He has been up closer from better barriers but Sam (Clipperton) will work it out.”