Red Ruler Clear Favourite For Mercedes Derby

15 Feb 2008

John Sargent-trained three-year-old
Red Ruler burst into favouritism for the Group 1 $700,000 Mercedes Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on March 1 with an emphatic win at the expense of a top field in the $100,000 Lexus Championship Stakes (2100m) at Ellerslie on Saturday.

Red Ruler, pictured below, is an exciting son of second-season Cambridge Stud shuttle sire Viking Ruler. He was all class with his three and a quarter length win and confirmed the big reputation held of him by his traiiner.


Red Ruler, in his first preparaton, has swept all before him with four wins in five starts and is now a clear Derby favourite at $3.50. Mission Critical and Nom Du Jeu are paying $8 for the Derby while Saturday's race runner-up, Six O'Clock News, is paying $10 as is Sircross. Six O'Clock News is by another Cambridge Stud sire, Zabeel, so it was a quinella in the Lexus Stakes for the stud farm.

Pierre Joseph, who finished third in Saturday's Group 2 event, is paying $12.

Red Ruler, a NZ$60,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales graduate, is the first stakes winner for regally-bred Viking Ruler (Danehill x Tristalove) who was a Group 1 winner of the Spring Champion Stakes in Sydney. His other stakes performers to date have been Pretty Vegas, Tief and Romany Princess.

His overall strike rate is a very healthy 40 per cent winners to runners and he has been represented by 20 individual winners.

Winning jockey Vinny Colgan has already ridden four winners of the Mercedes Derby  - Redoute's Dancer last year and the Roger James-trained trio of Hades (1999), Zonda (1997) and Roysyn (1995).