Records of the NSW Pacing Derby date back to 1930, however the race may date back even further with inconsistencies in available records. A Group 1 Classic held over 2400m at Menangle, the 2016 edition will carry total stakes of $200,000 with the winner receiving a cheque for $120,000.
The field was selected through finishing positions in the heats that were held the week previous with the top 4 finishers in the 3 heats progressing to the G1 Derby.
Previous winners of the blue-riband feature include Lennytheshark (2013), Smolda (2012), Elsu (2003), Courage Under Fire (1999) and Westburn Grant (1989).
A raging hot favourite and rightly so, the highly talented colt is unbeaten in his 15 start career. His 2YO season realised G1 wins in the Australasian Breeders Crown, Australian Pacing Gold and NSW Breeders Challenge. Resuming at 3 he continued where he left off at the end of last season and while he only had a neck to spare in his Derby heat win, he should be simply too good once again. So dominant is he expected to be, UBET are also offering favourite out markets on the race.
Heading the favourite out market and on the 2nd line of the final field market, Cant Refuse has shown great improvement since arriving from New Zealand. The winner of 1 race in his former homeland, the gelding has joined the stables of Matt Craven who has thrown him in the deep end straight up and he has responded in good fashion. Running 4th in his 1st start for the stable in a heat of the Victoria Derby he then finished 4th in the final. In his NSW Derby heat, he took some time to find a clear path and once he did, he hit the line strongly behind Our Waikiki Beach.
Occupying the 4th line of betting, Kingofthestars has won 4 of his 10 career starts and placed another 4 times. As a 2YO he ran 3rd to Our Waikiki Beach in the G1 Australian Pacing Gold Final and finished off nicely in his heat behind the star colt in running him to a head. The stable know how to produce a Derby winner, having prepared the last 2 winners of this race and he is owned in astute interests that have had a great deal of success in recent years.
Finishing out of the money only once in his 11 start career, if the 1st Emergency is not required, Sams The Master will be afforded a great trip along the inside. Since resuming in his 3YO season he has recorded 2 wins and 2 2nds. Finishing 2nd in the G3 Simpson Sprint after working hard in the run, he then did well in his Derby heat, finishing 3m from the winner after he pulled hard in the run. He can sit just off the pace and will get to take all the shortcuts home.