Penfolds Victoria Derby dream is not Wilde
Symon Wilde is set to have his first Penfolds Victoria Derby runner after Gundec secured his place in October's race for the Warrnambool-based horseman by taking out Wednesday's $75,000 Penfolds Victoria Derby Preview (1800m).
The son of Kermadec was having just his second Victorian start and relished the rise in distance, providing Craig Williams the third of four winners on the Flemington program.
Gundec, who opened as long as $151 in Derby markets, shortened to $10 after his three-quarters-of-a-length win over $61 chance Sharper, while $81 hopeful Sebastian The Fox finished third.
"That's what we bought him for and I think he's in now, so we can make preparations and plans solely around the Derby," a pleased Wilde said.
"I thought he was good, he took a long time to get past that horse and it may indicate the further the better.
"Craig had to give him a shove out of the gates, he relaxed beautifully after that and it's looking like 2500 metres is going to be right up his alley the way he toughed it out late."
Formerly raced in New South Wales, Gundec was a $10,000 online yearling purchase who finished fourth and sixth in two starts interstate for Allan Boyle, who remains in the ownership.
"A good team of loyal clients backed us in, we thought we had found a Derby colt," Wilde explained.
"The owners were good enough to sell him to us and they are still in the ownership as well, so hopefully it will be a good ride from here on in.
"I'm rapt he's in, I think he will be a really good chance (in the Derby)."
Wilde indicated the $175,000 Listed Super Impose Stakes (1800m) would be next on his radar.
Williams appears in the box seat for key rides in the three-year-old classics, having earlier in the program also ridden Barb Raider to win the Oaks Preview, who shortened into favoritism on the back of her performance.
"We looked at his profile in Sydney as a two-year-old and a couple of horses me and my manager earmarked looking at the Derby later in the spring actually came through the same race," Williams said.
"I kid myself thinking he's running off to McDonalds when you're not looking because he still looks like there is a bit to work with, which is really exciting going forward.
"He's in the right care for a staying type of horse.
"I liked it when he come under full pressure and really lengthened and toughed it out."
Williams dominated Flemington's program with four winners, having also piloted Cuban Link and Mr Brightside to victory.
Image: Gundec (outside) finished too strongly for Sharper. Image: Racing Photos.