Leon Macdonald knows how to win the Victoria Derby and he’s proved he can find one from just about anywhere.
That’s what happened back in 2008 when Rebel Raider got up to beat Whobegotyou as a 100 to 1 chance in arguably the biggest upset in Victoria Derby history.
In 2011 it won’t be anywhere near a big a shock if Perfect Punch can repeat the dose, although he does still need to make some improvements.
He’s won three in a row in Adelaide and as a result at online bookmaker Luxbet he’s moved in from over $50 to barely remain in double figures.
There’s a good story in the horse as well with Henry Perks heading the syndicate, he was a main shareholder in Rebel raider as well.
They will get a good look at what Perfect Punch needs to do when one of the favourites Collar runs tomorrow at Caulfield.
They lead the betting along with Manawnaui and Helmet however both those horses are unlikely to start.
That would make Perfect punch a leading prospect, proving of course he runs well at the Geelong Classic next Wednesday.
“Rebel Raider ran (third) in the Geelong race after starting his preparation in Adelaide and it fits in better with the program,” Macdonald said.
“It means ten days since his last run and then ten days into the Derby which I think is preferable to two weeks and a week.”
“It’s a proven formula for us.”
In terms of both breeding and ability Macdonald has backed Perfect punch to become a top level stayer and he says while still developing the lack of depth in this year’s Victoria Derby will give him a Group 1 chance earlier than expected.
“Perfect Punch has only had five runs and is still as green as grass and does a lot of things wrong,” he said.
“But there don’t seem to be many staying three-year-olds around.
“The sprinters are top-class but the staying ranks are thin.
“He is by an AJC Derby winner in Starcraft, his mother Tayasu Run won the Belmont Oaks in Perth and her sire Tayasu Tsuyoshi was a Japan Derby winner so I have no worries about the 2500 metres.”
The career of Rebel Raider finished last month after being retired to stud following an injury.
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