Brett Honey’s WA Derby Heats Preview

We’re got the heats of the Group 2 WA Derby at Cannington this Saturday night. Brett Honey takes a close look at each race:

Race 4 WA Derby Heat 1 (520m)

The first of 4 rather intriguing heats of the Derby with the market settling on four key chances. Sunset Mirage (box 1) and Bergelmir (box 4) are the top 2 in betting and arguably would like to swap boxes. Sunset Mirage is flying and showed some ticker last week behind Sunset Frazier when finishing second. His map is sticky drawn outside Sunset Nightjar and Apple Crumble. Bergelmir’s lack of early speed will play into his favour here. He wants the rail and is a different dog when finding it. If he can miss it and flop to the rail, something will have to give with speed in boxes 1 through to 3. The last time he found the rail at Cannington was three back when going 29.69 and defeating Wise Barra.

My Anarchy Boy (box 8) returns to Cannington after a brilliant Mandurah Derby triumph. His challenge is to bring that form to headquarters and whilst he is quite effective from outside draws, I’m concerned he may get posted wide here with not only the speed on the inside, but Cadia Gold in 7 as well. I’m more than happy to risk Sunset Nightjar (box 2). On a night when they were running time, he only went 30.19 when winning last week and is no certainty to lead with Apple Crumble next door.

I think the race sets up nicely for Bergelmir and he runs the times to win this race comfortably.

Bet: #4 Bergelmir


Race 5 WA Derby Heat 2 (520m)

The second heat of the Derby looks a tap-in for Sunset Frazier on paper. He was runner up in the Sandgroper three back and won last week in a blistering 29.64. It typically doesn’t matter where he draws but I do have a few questions about what is drawn around him. Kanan Stark in 7 can begin well off the mat and wants to head left out of the boxes, whilst I’m expecting Comfortably Numb in five to hold his line early and show some speed. Sunset Frazier probably just wins but there are a few seeds of doubt.

So if he doesn’t win, who does? Toad and Sunset Pepe have drawn well in boxes one and two, but their recent starts have been disappointing and I think Molfetta Cruise in 4 is better suited at Mandurah. All About Rock (box 8) likely starts around 50/1 but brings some decent Mandurah form and is the only run on dog in the race. A few of these will throw the toys out of the cot when they don’t lead, and it wouldn’t shock me to see All About Rock run into the placings. He has beaten Sunset Comanche fair and square before. I’ll have a small place bet on him.

Bet: #8 All About Rock (place)


Race 6 WA Derby Heat 3 (520m)

Heat 3 in the Derby seemingly bills as a match race between Sunset Tyson (box 2) and Uncle Tommy (box 6). Sunset Tyson has a PB of 29.45 which suggests that if he leads it would be all over. However, he was disappointing late last week in going 30.00 behind Sunset Comanche and his run home was slower than Sunset Frazier’s. He may be open to improvement and the draw gives him little excuse. Perhaps I can look past last week.

Uncle Tommy (pictured) is the obvious danger, and he is all heart this bloke. He was run down by Runaway To Mars on Sandgroper night and has not been seen since. If he leads, expect him to go around the 29.90 mark and be hard to beat, although it is a tall order to cross Tyson when there’s no pressure around him.

West On Astro (box 2) and Gimli (box 7) are both capable and run the 520-trip strong. I’m concerned that one of the two favourites will sneak away here and with no third dividend, it is difficult to make a case each way.

I’m leaning towards Tyson, but he will need to sharpen up on last week.

Bet: #2 Sunset Tyson


Race 7 WA Derby Heat 4 520m

What do we do here? I think there is only three hopes in the final heat with Sunset Comanche (box 1), West On Boomer (box 3) and Fire Lighter (box 8) all presenting strong cases. Whilst he was the recipient of first turn fortune last week, Sunset Comanche was brilliant in making Sunset Tyson look second rate on his way to posting 29.68. If he sits close, there’s very few in the state that can hold him off. I do prefer Comanche with a bit of room, however if he can hold a position through the turn, look out.

West On Boomer is an odds-on chance to lead and he’s very capable when doing so. First up since the 13th of April is a concern because his lack of backend strength is what may bring him undone. With the no third dividend, he is an each-way price and if he leads, top 2 looks very appetising.

Fire Lighter has come to town from New South Wales and is in the capable hands of Paul Stuart. He brings very good form from Wentworth Park where he comfortably breaks 30 seconds and can handle a wide draw. First up Cannington is always a query.

Three genuine hopes. I’ll play the outsider of the three in West On Boomer. He may be a sitting duck late, but we can play him top-2 as well.

Bet: #3 West On Boomer (each-way)

Other Bets On The Card

Race 3 #2 Sunset Serengeti

Race 8 #6 Sandy Basa (each way)

Race 11 #5 Carter Axelrod

Multi: Race 3 #2 Sunset Comanche into Race 9 #4 Chobe Star into Race 10 #1 West On Nugget