A five-length defeat in the Rosehill Guineas has not shaken jockey Craig Newitt’s belief Teronado can win the Group One ATC Australian Derby.
Teronado finished third behind Criterion and Thunder Fantasy in his final Derby lead-up in the Group One Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 29.
Newitt said the slow track prevented Teronado from letting down as well as he could.
“He travelled well and I thought he was the winner at the top of the straight but just floundered in the going,” Newitt said.
“The track was even but the winner had a turn of foot in it and nothing else did.”
Although heavy rain fell in Sydney on Sunday, the forecast looks promising for Newitt and Teronado later in the week with only showers predicted leading up to the first day of The Championships at Randwick.
Nom Du Jeu’s 2008 Derby was the last run on a slow or heavy surface.
Teronado has not tackled the 2400 metres of the Derby in his 12-start career but the Bruce Hill-trained three-year-old has convinced Newitt the trip will pose no problem on Saturday.
“He’s going great but he’s got really dour now,” Newitt said.
“He might have been wanting the 2400 metres for two runs now so he’s just crying out for it now.”
Teronado will bid to become the first Queensland-trained ATC Australian Derby winner since John Wallace prepared Shoot Out to win the Classic in 2010 with the late Stathi Katsidis aboard.
Teronado will also be the first son of Testa Rossa to contest the Derby since Testafiable finished third to Headturner in 2006.
Bookmakers have Teronado as an $11 chance to claim the Derby while Criterion is the $3.50 favourite.
New Zealand Derby winner Puccini is being kept safe at $6 despite his Rosehill Guineas failure with Thunder Fantasy at $8 and the only other runner under double figures.
Savvy Nature, who was just behind Teronado in the Guineas, is alongside him at $11.
Craig Williams will replace Michael Walker on Puccini with connections unhappy with Walker’s Guineas ride.