Lizard Island’s second in the Caulfield Guineas has his trainer Pat Hyland excited about his Victoria Derby prospects.
Hyland has always had a big opinion of Lizard Island and the colt finished well to beat all bar the impressive Sydney colt Press Statement in Saturday’s Group One Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at his seventh start.
One of Australia’s most successful jockeys, Hyland turned 74 on Sunday and still rides his horses in trackwork.
He says Lizard Island feels like a horse which will run the 2500 metres of the Derby.
“I like this horse,” Hyland said.
“I relate a lot of horses back to when I was a jockey, and I also ride them in work myself. And I think he’s a very good horse and I think he’s a Derby prospect.
“But I may be proven wrong, because he’s not bred to be a Derby prospect.”
Lizard is scheduled to have his next start at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day.
“He’ll go to the Vase at the Valley and if he wins there or runs well he’ll go to the Derby,” Hyland said.
“That’s been the plan for some time.”
Lizard Island’s Guineas performance resulted in him tightening from $18 to $8 in the TAB’s Victoria Derby market to share the third line of betting with Ragnaar.
Tarzino is the $4.60 favourite after a luckless run in the Guineas when an eye-catching seventh, while Spring Champion Stakes winner Vanburgh is at $5.
Lizard Island broke through for a win at Pakenham two starts ago and has only missed a place once.
Along with his second in the Group One Guineas, the son of Sebring also has finished runner-up twice in Listed races.
Sovereign Nation finished fourth in the Guineas and is also Derby-bound.