Runner by Runner: WATC Derby

1. Trix Of The Trade (56.5kg)

Trainer: Colin Webster
Jockey: Troy Turner
Barrier: 8

Winner of the Breeders Classic (1400), Challenge Stakes (1500), Lex Piper (1600) and runner up in the JC Roberts Stakes (1800) and Melvista Stakes (2200) who silenced his critics on his staying ability with a powerful 33:72 L600 in the Melvista. Was well supported late in betting from $5.50 into $3.10 to a point where he actually jumped favourite. Fastest L1200, 1000, 800, 600, 400 & 200 of the race to put the writing on the wall. Meets main rival Alaskan God 3kg better at the weights and will have a big following.

2. Hear Me Sing (56.5kg)

Trainer: Steve Wolfe
Jockey: Paul Harvey
Barrier: 11

Has finished behind Trix Of The Trade in his last five outings and like all of the colts & geldings will concede him weight in the Derby for having been beaten home by him at their recent encounters. Steve Wolfe has always shown confidence that he would stay and with all due respect Andrew Castle to Paul Harvey is worth lengths on Grand Final day. Never gave it away in the Melvista and expect him to be kicked out of the gates looking for the breeze.

3. Alaskan God (56.5kg)

Trainer: Daniel Morton
Jockey: Chris Parnham
Barrier: 3

Undefeated this time in having won a 1400m maiden at Pinjarra, an 1800m C1 and 0MWLY 59+ at Ascot and then stamped himself as the horse to beat in the 2022 WATC Derby with a strong victory in the Melvista Stakes. Was parked in the moving line three deep with cover from barrier 5 by Chris Parnham in that race and sustained a run from the 600m when the 100-1 pop in front of him stopped taking him anywhere. Love the way he travels, love the way he explodes when asked for an effort and love the way he runs right through the line. Can he beat Trix Of The Trade again with 3kg more?

4. Pale Rider (56.5kg)

Trainer: Ted Martinovich
Jockey: Patrick Carbery
Barrier: 13

Was backing up off 7 days from a victory against the older horses in a 60+ Graudation into the Melvista Stakes when finishing a respectable eighth behind Alaskan God, Trix Of The Trade and Co. Thought he worked to the line as well as anything outside the obvious duo and the extra 200m shouldn’t be a worry for him. Man of the moment Patrick Carbery picks up the ride from a suspended Joseph Azzopardi and he will need a back to follow if he’s to play a part in the finish.

5. Henchard (56.5kg)

Trainer: Adam Durrant
Jockey: Clint Johnston-Porter
Barrier: 1

Left a lot to be desired in the Melvista Stakes when left alone in front for the first 1400m of the race before Jason Whiting and Tell Nothin’ finally injected some speed into the race. Even with that mid-race move from the roughie at the 800m marker the first mile was run 14L slower than average and in a race that Henchard turned into a sit sprint himself, he had very little to offer running ninth. Do they look for a sit from barrier 1 this time?

6. Black Fantasy (56.5kg)

Trainer: Dan & Ben Pearce
Jockey: Brad Parnham
Barrier: 4

Like Alaskan God the Pearce Brothers decided to plot an alternate pathway to the 3 year old staying features until the Melvista through the 3yo Pinjarra Magic Millions (eye catching third), a 3yo 0MWLY 1400 (second to JC Roberts winner Rokanori), a C3 1800 second placing and then sixth in the Melvista beaten 4L when hitting the line well. The concerning part is that he has wobbled round the corner at all three runs at Ascot. Don’t think he handles the bend at all well and might be a far better Belmont Park horse. Like his future, just not at Ascot.

7. Let’sdeal (56.5kg)

Trainer: Steve Wolfe
Jockey: Andrew Castle
Barrier: 2

Unfortunately, he hasn’t quite measured up to the top 3 year olds this time in. Runs his races in patches, has had a few different riders and a fair few different gear variations thrown at him in an attempt to get him to race more genuinely and more tractably. Hard to see him figuring given the way he’s going and with the jury out on whether he stays.

8. Outspoken Lad (56.5kg)

Trainer: Dan & Ben Pearce
Jockey: Shaun O’Donnell
Barrier: 6 

Brilliant run in the Melvista and looks a genuine top 4 player in the 2022 WATC Derby. Was in the breeze throughout when sitting outside of Henchard and then outside of Tell Nothin’ who started to wobble under pressure and effectively ran him up the track and into a three deep position on the corner. Shaun O’Donnell pulled the trigger and went for home after a cheeky look over his right shoulder at the 400 and thought he toughed it out really well. Might not have the same brilliance as Trix Of The Trade or Alaskan God but he’ll take up a position and be there a long way.

9. Disengo (56.5kg)

Trainer: Adam Durrant
Jockey: Lucy Warwick
Barrier: 5

Likely to jump closer to 100-1 than 50-1 on the weekend. Given every mortal hope by Lucy Warwick in the Melvista when parked three back the fence and just plugging away, never going around a single horse in running. One paced type who just whacks away in his races without a discernible turn of foot.

10. Lautre (56.5kg)

Trainer: Brett Pope
Jockey: Jordan Turner
Barrier: 12

Won back to back 1800m events at Pinjarra and Ascot to justify a throw at the stumps against the big boys in the Melvista and went around 80-1 and was beaten 5.8L. In the end he got through traffic, balanced up and finished right alongside Tell Nothin’. The barrier ruined any chances of a fairy-tale.

11. Tell Nothin’ (56.5kg)

Trainer: Julie Mitchell
Jockey: Jade McNaught
Barrier: 7

Finished ninth of nine in the Lex Piper at 100-1 and then tenth of fifteen at 200-1 in the Melvista. Jason Whiting put him into the race at the 800 last start with a mid-race move from one out one back to the top and rode him like a stayer (understandable given he was a runaway 2200m winner) but his run was short lived and it just goes to show the chasm between provincial form and metro form.

12. Northeast Eagle (56.5kg)

Trainer: Lindsey Smith
Jockey: Laqdar Ramoly
Barrier: 9

He looks the boys’ version of Arcadia Gem: races like he needs another lap. First-up 1800m maiden, second-up 2206m maiden, third-up into a WATC Derby. The three horses who beat him home last start were Art Warrior (14 start C1), Mystical Babe (7 start maiden) and Allegiance (11 start maiden). Enough said.

13. Lady Chant (54.5kg)

Trainer: Brock Lewthwaite
Jockey: Jason Whiting
Barrier: 10

Gave Jason Whiting his second consecutive WA Oaks and for the third time in the last four years the Oaks winner went into the race a maiden (Dark Choice – 2019, Lunar Impact – 2021 and Lady Chant – 2022). The 2022 WA Oaks was an Olympic Walk until the 800, with the first mile run 27L slower than average. You could say it wasn’t a true staying test, but neither was the Melvista (first mile 14L slower than average). Take nothing away from her Oaks win, but think the boys have a few lengths on the girls.


Gets back to Set Weights for the first time in the series having carried 57kg in each of his last four outings. Gets a 3kg weight swing on Alaskan God and if he can position just one pair closer to him in the run then he looks a genuine threat to the favourite. 10 starts, never missed the top 2. He has tactical speed, he has a turn of foot and he has one of the most in form staying riders in the State aboard.

Market Market