Perfect Punch is on a similar path towards the Victoria Derby as former stablemate Rebel Raider with connections eyeing a similar result.
Rebel Raider caused a major upset in 2008 when he beat Whobegotyou as a 100-1 chance in the Flemington Classic.
Three recent wins in Adelaide mean Perfect Punch won’t be at that price with TAB Sportsbet posting him at $11 after his 1800m victory on Saturday when as much as $51 was on offer in first markets.
Harry Perks, long-time stable client with Leon Macdonald, was a major shareholder in Rebel Raider and also heads the syndicate which races Perfect Punch.
Caulfield Guineas runner-up Manawanui and the Lloyd Williams-owned Collar, who races at Caulfield on Wednesday, are equal $7 favourites for the Derby on October 29.
Helmet, who is Cox Plate-bound after winning the Caulfield Guineas is next at $10 but both he and Manawanui are doubtful starters.
Ron Leemon will decide after Manawanui runs in the AAMI Vase at Moonee Valley whether to press on a week later to the Derby.
Perfect Punch meanwhile will use the Geelong Classic on Wednesday week as his Derby leadup.
“Rebel Raider ran (third) in the Geelong race after starting his preparation in Adelaide and it fits in better with the program,” Macdonald said.
“It means ten days since his last run and then ten days into the Derby which I think is preferable to two weeks and a week.”
“It’s a proven formula for us.”
Macdonald has no doubts Perfect Punch has the ability and breeding to become a superior stayer and although he is still learning, he believes the lack of depth in three-year-olds over a distance gives him his chance.
“Perfect Punch has only had five runs and is still as green as grass and does a lot of things wrong,” he said.
“But there don’t seem to be many staying three-year-olds around.
“The sprinters are top-class but the staying ranks are thin.
“He is by an AJC Derby winner in Starcraft, his mother Tayasu Run won the Belmont Oaks in Perth and her sire Tayasu Tsuyoshi was a Japan Derby winner so I have no worries about the 2500 metres.”
Rebel Raider was retired to stud in August due to injury but Macdonald still has spring Group One aspirations with Majestic Music and Southern Speed as well as Perfect Punch.
Southern Speed runs in Saturday’s Caulfield Cup while Majestic Music, eighth in the Toorak Handicap, will head to the Myer Classic on Derby day.