Mike Moroney has paid his dues this season, with five group one placings. Now he wants a group one win.
Moroney, who has stables on both sides of the Tasman, trains leading chances for the two richest races at the Auckland Cup carnival.
Rising three-year-old star Savile Row is favourite for Saturday's $1m Vodafone Derby (2400m) and stablemate Mister Impatience is joint second favourite for the $500,000 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) on Saturday week.
Moroney has won 46 group one races but it has been a while since his last one.
"We have had a lot of placings," Moroney said this week.
Tivaci, the current star of the Melbourne stable, recorded two group one placings last spring and Savile Row, who is under Pam Gerard's care at the Matamata base, tackles the Derby after running second in group one company in three of his last four starts.
Savile Row, a Makfi colt, is an unlikely Derby favourite in some regards, as he has yet to win a stakes races and his two wins have both been at 1200m.
He was given a break after chasing home Ugo Foscolo in the Two Thousand Guineas in November and resumed in impressive fashion by winning a rating 85 1200m at Ellerslie.
He then ran second, beaten a nose by Hall Of Fame, in the Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham and was making his middle distance debut when the runner-up to Volkstok'n'barrell, beaten a long head, in the weight-for-age Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa.
"He should run well [in the Derby]," Moroney said. "You would think he would have to be well off his game not to be in the finish."
One query over Savile Row is that he has raced greenly at his last two starts and a shadow roll has been added to his gear for Saturday. "He's lovely to do anything with around the stable but he is a colt and it's just his racing manners," Moroney said.
"He will have to do things right but there's no doubt that he has the ability to do it. He will have a future as a stallion, particularly if he can win a group one. He's a seriously good type of horse and has a pedigree to go with it," he said.
Savile Row shortened to $4.50 yesterday after drawing barrier seven, with Sacred Elixir now sharing the second line with Gingernuts at $6.80. Mongolian Legend (Cameron Lammas) is a confirmed starter.
Vodafone NZ Derby
$1m, 3YO, 2400m
12x47 Sacred Elixir (12) 56.5
32122 Savile Row (7) 56.5 Michael Coleman
35351 Wyndspelle (15) 56.5
21143 Lincoln Blue (18) 56.5
98375 Highlad (3) 56.5 Johnathan Parkes
93337 Jon Snow (2) 56.5 Matthew Cameron
x4011 Gingernuts (13) 56.5 Opie Bosson
12221 Rising Red (17) 56.5 Mick Dee (a)
21174 Stephenstihls (16) 56.5 Hayden Tinsley
14446 Cha Siu Bao (10) 56.5 Derek Leung
x3118 Camino Rocoso (9) 56.5 Jason Waddell
22122 Charles Road (5) 56.5 Craig Grylls
8x113 Mongolian Wolf (8) 56.5 Mark Du Plessis
16950 Leading Role (11) 56.5 Lisa Allpress
51661 Excalibur (6) 56.5
16310 Mongolian Legend (1) 56.5 Cameron Lammas
51244 Redeem The Dream (14) 56.518: 15189 Beaumarchais (4) 56.5 Michael McNab
Market for NZ Derby
• $4 Savile Row.
• $6.80 Sacred Elixir, Gingernuts.
• $8.20 Camino Rocoso.
• $9 Charles Road.
• $11 Wyndspelle.
• $16 Mongolian Wolf.
• $18 Jon Snow.
• $21 Lincoln Blue.
• $23 Cha Siu Bao, Excalibur.
• $26 Rising Red.
• $33 Highlad, Redeem The Dream.
• $56 Stephenstihls.
• $66 Beaumarchais.
• $101 Mongolian Legend.
• $171 Leading Role.