Alegron’s placing behind Profondo the right Derby form, says Vin Cox

Godolphin’s managing director Vin Cox believes Alegron’s placing behind Profondo in the group 1 Spring Champion Stakes is the strongest form line heading into Saturday’s VRC Derby.

But that’s not to say his stable’s other contender, Character, is without a chance of his own.

Alegron, in the blue, has been racing in Sydney behind the likes of Profondo and Head Of State.Credit:Getty

Both three-year-olds are by Darley’s stallion Teofilo, who has produced Melbourne Cup winners Twilight Payment and Cross Counter, so the step up to 2500 metres should be no concern for either horse.

Character had a final piece of work at Flemington on Tuesday morning before drawing gate 10 for Saturday’s $2 million classic, while stablemate Alegron – who is still in Sydney – will jump alongside him in barrier 9 under Brett Prebble.

“Character did a nice piece of work around there this morning as well under his jockey Fred Kerlsey,” Flemington foreman Sean Keogh said.

“He was followed around by his stablemate Alcyone. They did a nice piece of work together. The blinkers were applied in his work and he worked up nicely.

“He’s had plenty of grounding, this horse. He’s raced now end through the winter and early part of the spring. We gave him a month let-up leading into that run to the Geelong Classic, and he was competitive enough. It was a strongly run race, the Geelong Classic, and he stuck it out well, and he deserves his chance in a VRC Derby.”

Cox said Alegron also had the perfect grounding for Saturday’s race.

“His profile is that of a horse that needs an extended trip,” Cox said.

“He was third in the Spring Champion Stakes, a group 1, and his best work was really on the line, the last 100 metres, and I believe his work at Osborne Park – to quote James Cummings – was ‘an ideal piece of work for a Derby’.

Godolphin trainer James Cummings and managing director Vin Cox.Credit:Getty Images

“You’ve only got to look at the way he races and certainly in the Spring Champion his best work was over the last 100 metres.”

While difficult to compare the pair, Cox said Spring Champion winner Profondo would probably be a short-priced favourite in the Derby if he was in the race.

“We’ve got very high regard and respect for the favoured runners, no doubt, but Profondo could be a star,” Cox said.

“It’s hard to say [which of ours is a better chance]; one’s come out of listed grade and the other one’s come out of a group 1. I don’t think we’ve ever put them together, but Saturday will tell us a lot more.”

Alegron is a gelding, while Character still has his stallion-making assets intact, but Cox said he wouldn’t read too much into that regarding who Godolphin would prefer to win the race.

“We’d be happy either way because I’m not sure a colt winning the Derby is going to change his ambitions too much. We’d just be happy to win a Derby,” he said.

Forgot You remains favourite for Saturday’s race at $3.80 after drawing barrier 8, having won the group 2 Stutt Stakes and Moonee Valley Vase in his past three starts.

Gunstock, the Norman Robinson winner, is on the next line of betting at $4 but he drew barrier 19 on Tuesday.

Alegron is rated a $12 chance, while Character is $31 with Sportsbet.

Victoria Derby barrier draw

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