Trainer Dan Morton says he isn’t about to concede the Group 2 Schweppes-W.A.T.C Derby (2400m) to red-hot favourite Tuscan Queen at Ascot on Saturday.
Morton will have Samantha’s Twitch and Showaddywaddy in the 3YO classic and despite being big outsiders, he believes they can cause a major upset.
Tuscan Queen has been the target horse since she won the Listed Natasha Stakes (2200m). That punter interest spiked again after she demolished the WA Oaks (2400m) line-up.
Like most rivals, Samantha’s Twitch and Showaddywaddy found Tuscan Queen too strong and classy in the WA Oaks, but according to Morton they finished off strongly.
Samantha’s Twitch ran fourth, beaten four lengths after making solid ground from eighth position. Showaddywaddy was also good late and not far behind in sixth place.
Morton said with some luck in running he’s pretty certain Samantha’s Twitch and Showaddywaddy could have gone closer in the WA Oaks.
“They both didn’t get much luck in the WA Oaks,” Morton.
“Samantha’s Twitch got held up at a vital time and Showaddywaddy was just behind.
“They were closing strongly and should have finished further than they did.
“They both have trained on and I really can’t be any happier with them.
“They definitely have not gone backwards and very little between them.
“I’m certainly not putting up the white flag to Tuscan Queen.”
Samantha’s Twitch has drawn barrier nine, the second widest gate. Jarrad Noske retains the ride.
Showaddywaddy is on the inside of her stable mate. Chris Parnham combines from gate eight.
Tabtouch has Samantha’s Twitch at $21 and Showaddywaddy at $41. Tuscan Queen is $1.55.
Meanwhile Morton says Sherpa Lass will have a short spell after suffering her first defeat at Ascot on Saturday.
“She was just out of sorts,” Morton said
“She didn’t want to run a good race
“I don’t want to use it as an excuse, but she might be in season.
“She’ll go back to Oakland for a few weeks.”
Morton confirmed two-year-old Queen Brown would not progress to the WA Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) in two weeks.
The Patronize filly has been spelled having claimed one win, one second and a last-start third to Em Tee Aye On Wednesday.
“She has done a great job in her first campaign,” Morton said.
“She won’t go to the Sires’, she’s off to the paddock.”