Expat New Zealand trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young will be hoping third time's a charm for their talented three-year-old Savvy Oak when he lines up in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm today.
The son of Savabeel has contested two previous Derbies this season, finishing seventh in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) in November, and runner-up in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) last month.
They were happy with his run in the South Australian Derby and believe he has developed into a better three-year-old in the autumn.
"He got a beautiful run and I thought he was the winner on the turn [in the South Australian Derby]," Busuttin said.
"I was looking for the ones behind him and then the filly [Qafila] was off and gone, but he's honest and tried hard."
Busuttin is pleased with how Savvy Oak has settled into his new surroundings in Queensland and expects a bold showing from his charge after being impressed by his trackwork on Tuesday.
"He's up here enjoying the Queensland sun and he is going very well," he said.
"He worked up on Tuesday morning with Bjorn Baker's horse, Fun Fact, at Eagle Farm and he hasn't put a foot wrong. I think he will be thereabouts."
Savvy Oak will jump from barrier two with Michael Walker aboard and is marked as an $18 winning chance by TAB bookmakers behind favourite Nobu at $4.50.
• Promising apprentice jockey Hazel Schofer had a day to remember at New Plymouth on Thursday, riding home three winners on her home track.
Apprenticed to Allan Sharrock, Schofer scored an early double for local trainer Ian Adams with Tarabeebee and Aratoka, before winning for her boss aboard short-priced favourite Come Sei in the Stable Books Supporting NZ Trainers (1400m).
Schofer, who has been riding on race day for less than a month, was delighted to pick up a treble so early in her riding career.
"It was pretty special," she said. "It was good to get three at the home track with all my family there. It's definitely my biggest day so far."
- NZ Racing Desk