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Her legendary father TJ Smith won a record nine AJC Australian Derbys and trainer Gai Waterhouse would dearly love to add her name to the winners’ list on Saturday.

She came agonisingly close in 2002 when odds-on favourite Carnegie Express was run down in the shadows of the winning post by Don Eduardo.

Jim Cassidy’s decision to head for home a long way out was questioned but Waterhouse stuck by the jockey.

The Derby is run over 2400 metres at Waterhouse’s home track, Randwick, and the trainer believes Light Brigade is just the horse to give her an elusive win in the Classic.

“Absolutely, I’d love to win it,” Waterhouse said.

“It’s just a very special race.

“I’ve never won an AJC Derby and I’ve got a horse that’s very talented and beautifully bred.”

Light Brigade is a son of champion sire Redoute’s Choice out of Winning Belle who ran second to the great Makybe Diva in the 2005 Australian Cup when trained by Waterhouse.

Light Brigade has taken the traditional path to the Derby, having raced in Sydney’s major three-year-old races leading up to the feature.

The colt finished third to Ilovethiscity in the Group One Randwick Guineas (1600m) and then found Derby rivals Jimmy Choux, Retrieve and Shamrocker too strong when fourth in the Group One Rosehill Guineas (2000m) last start.

Waterhouse has taken blinkers off Light Brigade for Saturday’s race in which he’ll be ridden by Nash Rawiller.

“I think he’s got a sensational chance and if it rains he has got an even better chance,” Waterhouse said.

“There might be one or two that might stay the 2400 metres a little bit better but he’s certainly got his foot on the till.

“He’s gone through the classic preparation and acquitted himself well and I think improved each time.

“Probably the other day in the Rosehill Guineas he wasn’t suited by the muddling pace and then the sprint home, I think it will be a differently-run race on Saturday.”

Star Kiwi Jimmy Choux is chasing the New Zealand and AJC Australian Derby double and showed he was on target in an ultra-impressive Australian debut when he raced to victory in the Rosehill Guineas.

Jimmy Choux is the $2.05 favourite with TAB Sportsbet to claim his fourth Group One of the season while Light Brigade is at $15.

“I think he’s a really top horse,” Waterhouse said of Jimmy Choux.

“There’s probably two horses to beat – the horses that ran first and third in the Rosehill Guineas (Jimmy Choux and Shamrocker).”

AAP TURF

 
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