Racing: Aussie raider seeks a special place in Derby history

By Michael Guerin

New South Wales raider Scandalman has been handed the perfect opportunity to turn the clock back 23 years in Friday night's $150,000 New Zealand Derby.

The Sydney star has drawn ideally at barrier four in the classic and will have a wave of support, especially after favourite Smolda drew the second line.

Group one wins for Australian pacers at Addington are rare, with no Australian 3-year-old having won the Derby since 1989, when the mighty Westburn Grant beat Captain Lee by nearly nine lengths.

But Scandalman has a growing chance of ending that drought after his luckless second in the Woodlands Derby at Alexandra Park three weeks ago.

He stormed home after being late clear that night and his conqueror on that occasion, Ideal Scott, is missing from Friday's line-up as his trainer Brian Hughes eyes the Jewels and Australasian Breeders Crown later in the season.

Scandalman led throughout to beat Ideal Scott in the Victoria Derby last month and there will be plenty of punters on both sides of the Tasman willing to bet he can do so again.

The Addington meeting is a rarity in that it hosts two Derbys, the other being for the trotters, and again that has been thrown open by the draw.

Early favourite Escapee faces the worst possible draw at one on the second line while northern star You Rock has drawn barrier two, which will see a huge shift in the markets.

Later in the night, Auckland Cup winner Sir Lincoln is a surprise acceptor in the $25,000 free-for-all as he prepares for a two-race Sydney campaign next month.

- NZ Herald

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