Ben Ahrens believes Queensland Derby outsider Chillin With Dylan is good enough to overcome a wide barrier in the Group One race.
Chillin With Dylan turned in a solid Derby trial when he ran home strongly to be fourth in the Group Three Grand Prix Stakes (2020m) two weeks ago.
And Ahrens has been waiting patiently for Chillin With Dylan to get out to the 2200m of Saturday’s race at Doomben.
“He has always shown us he wants ground and we have worked hard to overcome some of his problems,” Ahrens said.”
“He wanted to hang in his races and then he wanted to over-race. We put hours into correcting him and it is starting to pay off.”
Chillin With Dylan will launch his Derby bid from the extreme outside gate barrier in the 16-horse field.
“I am not going to use the outside barrier as an excuse if he gets beaten. He is fit and he is racing well,” Aherns said.
Chillin With Dylan and fellow Derby hopeful Jumbo Prince look to be among only a few of genuine Queensland hopefuls on Saturday.
“We will be flying the flag for Queensland and we won’t let them down,” Aherns said.
Trainer Michael Nolan has booked Tim Bell to take over as Jumbo Prince’s jockey from apprentice Luke Tarrant.
Jumbo Prince had to be ridden for pace from a wide alley in the Grand Prix and Nolan is hoping Bell will be able to settle the three-year-old with some cover.