Everything has gone to plan with Get The Picture’s Victoria Derby preparation with one exception.
The Stuart Webb-trained colt is the third favourite for Saturday’s 2500m-Classic but will be without his regular partner Mark Zahra who has been ruled out of Melbourne Cup week by a careless riding suspension.
Although Get The Picture has a more than able replacement in five-time Derby winner Damien Oliver, Webb feels for Zahra.
“I’m devastated for Mark. To see him do so much hard work to get to where he was,” Webb said.
“He was coming into Derby day with a terrific book of rides including my bloke and three or four for Robert (Smerdon).
“To see him be out for that sort of time period. You may as well be out for four months any other time of the year.
“So I’m devastated for him, but Damien is a very good replacement.”
Get The Picture won his maiden at his third start at Ballarat and a fast-finishing second in the Group Two Stutt Stakes at his next start convinced Webb he had a Derby candidate.
Get The Picture again hit the line well for fourth in the Caulfield Classic (2000m) last start.
Webb is confident the colt will run the 2500m and said barrier five was ideal.
“I couldn’t be happier with him. All of his runs have been good and ideal Derby runs,” he said.
“He’s a genuine stayer. He’s clean-winded and he’s a relaxed horse.”
Webb, who combines training his own team of horses with his job as an assistant to Smerdon at Caulfield, is best known for preparing triple Group One winner Yosei.