Aussie jockey Corey Brown has played his part in a mini-streak for the Kiwis in the Victoria Derby but plans to snap that on Saturday when he rides Honorius.
New Zealand-trained stayers have won the past three Victoria Derbys starting with Monaco Consul in 2009 who was ridden by Brown.
Another youngster from across the Tasman, It’s A Dundeel, is favourite for this year’s Classic but Brown is confident he’s on the right horse to repel the Murray Baker-trained runner over the 2500m.
Brown rides the David Payne-trained Honorius who has finished behind It’s A Dundeel in their only two meetings in Sydney but the jockey feels the colt is peaking at the right time.
Honorius was third in the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) two starts ago before finishing second in the Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) last start at Caulfield.
Honorius was third across the line in that race but was elevated to second on protest after he was impeded in the run to the line.
“His last two runs have been very unlucky,” Brown said.
“Had he got any clear running from the 100 metre mark home last start he wins and wins quite convincingly I think.
“He never got that opportunity but it may be a little blessing going into the Derby that he didn’t have an absolutely gut-busting run but was still very competitive.
“I’m really happy where he is at and I’ve got no doubt he’ll stay all day. He’s really relaxed.”
It’s A Dundeel’s jockey James McDonald is certain the colt will uphold Kiwi pride and said he had not lost faith in the Derby favourite who suffered his first defeat in last Saturday’s Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
“If any track in Australasia was going to trip him up it was going to be Moonee Valley,” McDonald said.