Moon shines in Derby lead-up

After winning Friday night’s feature $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) with Lankan Rupee, trainer Mick Price and jockey Craig Newitt were back in the Moonee Valley winner’s stall on Saturday.

The pair combined with promising three-year-old Moonovermanhattan, who enhanced his AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) claims with a strong performance in Saturday’s $200,000 Dilmah Exceptional Teas Vase (2040m).

Trainer Mick Price revealed a decision to revert back to their original tactics with the colt proved potentially the difference between winning and losing.

“We were going to ride him cold but after the scratchings we decided to ride him forward,” Price said.

“This was the run we wanted to use to get into the Victoria Derby and I was quite rapt, I thought it was a strong win.

“This race is usually the best Derby guide and I think in previous years I’ve run second, third, fourth, five and sixth so there’s one spot to go.”

Settling in second position, Moonovermanhattan ($6.50) scored by just under two lengths over Kiwi maiden Atmosphere ($4), who lost no admirers with a typically resolute finish, and leading Crown Oaks contender Go Indy Go ($6.50) who flashed home from the rear a further short-neck away in third.

Moonovermanhattan firmed from $17 into $6 for the Derby, while Go Indy Go firmed from $10 into $5.50 for the Crown Oaks (2500m).