Day At The Track

Matt craves another crack at a Derby

10:00 AM 14 Apr 2016 NZST
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Matt Craven
Matt Craven

Having placed in the New South Wales classic and finished fourth in the Victorian Group 1, Matthew Craven refuses to give up the dream of being a derby winner with his three-year-old harness racing gelding.

The Terang trainer has Cant Refuse drawn in barrier eight for Friday night’s Sky Racing WA Derby at Gloucester Park, and will need to overcome yet another Mark Purdon horse to get the lion’s share of the $200,000 prize.

It was Purdon’s Lazarus who took the lead honours in January’s Victoria Derby and his unbeaten stablemate Our Waikiki Beach who won at Menangle, when Cant Refuse was beaten into second by just 1.1m.

Lets Chase The Dream, Purdon’s winner of nine races from 18 starts, is favourite for Friday night’s Derby, with Cant Refuse done few favours when drawn eighth.

“We are drawn inside the second row and hopefully the one horse (Ideal Tyson) will come out and we can end up, at worst, third on the fence line,” Craven said.

“At least he won’t have to work as hard across the trip. We are not expecting to win from that draw, but with any luck we may be able to run into a place.”

He said the list of threats was long in the Group 1.

“Lets Chase The Dream is a top horse, Chicago Bull, Sprinter and Dodolicious – it is a pretty stong race,” Craven said.  “I am just hoping for an easy trip and to have a run at them.”

The WA Derby takes place at 8.30pm on Friday.

Michael Howard 

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