Trainer Pat Hyland has been understandably thrilled with the form and results posted by Lizard Island this time and is confident the talented three-year-old will line up for Saturday’s featured 2015 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington in perfect order.
Lizard Island has posted only one win through his eight start career so far but has undoubtedly been one of the most consistent three-year-olds this season; finishing second in each of the featured Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and $500,000 Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) in his two most recent starts.
Hyland has always been confident the Sebring colt would develop into a serious racehorse and is confident he is ready to stay the trip in the 2015 Victoria Derby.
“He’s a horse that ever since he came into the stable I had the feeling he was not just an average horse,” Hyland told AAP.
“I thought he was a horse that would go places.
“He’s only won one race, a maiden at Pakenham, but he’s got some very good placings.
“I dare say you don’t know until you get in the Derby, but his form has been really good and I think he deserves the chance at having a crack at it.
“If he’s good enough, he’ll win. If not he’ll probably run a place or something. He’s in great order.”
Having won the Victoria Derby as a jockey, the 74-year-old does not believe that feat plays any part in taking the race for the first time as a trainer.
“I don’t know that that makes a lot of difference,” Hyland said.
“It would just be nice to win a Derby. Once you’ve won one, it’s behind you then.
“People can make of it what they like. It would just be lovely to win the Derby. Plus the money is all right.”
Lizard Island has finished outside the places only once in his eight career starts so far, and has already amassed an impressive $346,625 in prize money.
Running third in a Sandown minor over 1200m on August 26th, Lizard Island placed a close second in the key form-indicating Listed Pin & Win Stakes (1400m) on September 12th before breaking through for a maiden race win in the Evergreen Charity Day Maiden (1600m) in his only other start prior to the Caulfield Guineas.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently displaying the best 2015 Victoria Derby odds, for which Lizard Island can be taken at a generous quote of $11 for success.