Savile Row stitched up favouritism for Saturday's $1 million Vodafone New Zealand Derby with a nicely tailored piece of work during the special gallops morning at Ellerslie yesterday.
Looking in great shape, the in-form Savile Row galloped over 1400m with stablemate Mister Impatience who is preparing for the $500,000 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup on Saturday week.
The Ellerslie track was judged by Auckland Racing Club racing manager Craig Baker as "between a good 3 and a dead 4".
It was hot in Auckland yesterday afternoon and Baker said significant irrigation was likely to be applied last night.
With raceday jockey Michael Coleman in the saddle, Savile Row began the gallop four lengths behind Mister Impatience and finished on terms, running the last 1000m wide out on the course proper in 1.01.2, the final 800m in 48, good work so far from the inside rail. Savile Row was noticeably leaning on one rein, but co-trainer Pam Gerard said it was nothing to worry about. "That's just him, he can do it in his races, too."
Savile Row has had the strong racing to fit him for a tough 2400m yet looks bright in the coat. Pam Gerard was delighted with Mister Impatience's effort. "He's really flying."
Derby opponent Sacred Elixir ran 1200m with Sheridan in 1.15.8, the final 1000m in 1.1.9 and 600 in a tick over 36. Sheridan looked to be galloping slightly the better, but trainer Tony Pike was unconcerned. "The other horse [Sheridan] is a very good trackworker."
Fittingly, Savile Row and Sacred Elixir sit at the top of the TAB's Derby market.
Auckland Cup runner Snow Secret ran 1400m with stablemate Hot Saki, but were not timed.
"I thought Hot Saki was working slightly the better," said trainer Shaune Ritchie, "but Snow Secret is a lazy trackworker and I was happy with what she did." Snow Secret was luckless in the Wellington Cup, having her momentum bled in the early stages of the home straight and having to quicken again, very difficult towards the end of 3200m.
In-form Miss Dalghar was travelling sweetly with Fixation after 1200m, the last 1000 in 1.02 and 800 in 48.3. Miss Dalghar will run in the special conditions 1600m on Saturday and will again be ridden by Brendan Hutton.
Lady Hass finished off well in her gallop with Irish Call, running the closing 800m in 48.7. Lady Hass will run in Saturday's Mongolian Khan Trophy.