RAIDERS are poised to dominate next week’s New South Wales Derby as a result of tonight’s heats at Tabcorp Park Menangle.
Three Blue Riband qualifiers were conducted with the placegetters from each heat and the fastest fourth of the night progressing to the Final.
As such, just one local – The Black Prince – has forced its way into the Group One.
Trained by Ray Roots junior, The Black Prince finished third behind stablemates Poster Boy and Major Times.
Victoria will boast seven runners in the Classic, with four coming from the Emma Stewart stable.
Along with Poster Boy and Major Times, Stewart captured a heat with Maraetai, while Tam Major was the fastest fourth.
“To get four through to the Final is a great result for our owners,” Stewart said. “We brought five up for the heats, so to get four through is terrific.”
Driven by Chris Alford, Poster Boy rated 1:57.9 over 2400m metres, with his time identical to Maraetai, which was also partnered by Alford.
Winner of last month’s Victoria Derby – beating Poster Boy and The Devils Own – Colt Thirty One annexed the third heat in 1:56.3.
Trained and driven by Grant Dixon, the son of Mach Three accounted for Little Peanut and The Devils Own to stretch his record to an impressive 12 wins and three placings from 17 starts.
“The draw is going to play a huge role in the Final, but based on the heats, Colt Thirty One is the one to beat,” Stewart said.