Vinery graduate Morvada is over the odds at $17 for the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.
The Mossman gelding was only beaten a half-length by Sacred Elixir in the G2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) last weekend and the winner has been installed a $2.80 favourite for our oldest classic on the calendar.
Veteran Adelaide trainer Peter Jolly reports Morvada has come through his first Melbourne outing in fantastic order. “I really can’t fault him,” he said. “Steve (Arnold) said the horse is still very green and doesn’t know exactly what to do just yet.
“When Sacred Elixir got to him on Saturday, he came again and was fighting back on the line.”
Morvada (3g Mossman – Carnegie Minstrel by Carnegie) has been set for the Victoria Derby since winning the LR Oaklands Plate (1600m) at Morphettville in May and he hasn’t missed a place in four runs this prep.
A $200,000 purchase from Vinery Stud at the 2015 Inglis Easter yearling sale, Morvada is out of a half-sister to NZ stakes winner Scarlet Vanhara (Van Nistelrooy) from the immediately family of Kiwi Group 1 winner Zonda (Zabeel).
“We wanted to get some cover with him at Moonee Valley but he jumped so well he didn’t get a chance,” Jolly said. “He’s drawn wide this Saturday and it’s only a short run to the first turn at Flemington so I would like him up near the front again.
“He faced a very strong breeze at Moonee Valley and toughed it out,” Jolly added. “I think he’s a realistic chance.”
Mossman’s Vinery counterpart More Than Ready sired 2005 Victoria Derby winner Benicio and he’s also in the mix with Prized Icon who is priced at $14. The James Cummings trained colt won the G1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) in April and was placed in the G1 Spring Champion Stakes back at Randwick earlier this month before a last-start fifth in the G2 Moonee Valley Vase.