Derasa on target for first Melbourne start

Mathew Toogood
Leading Tasmanian jockey Craig Newitt will ride Derasa in the Ron Taylor Handicap at Flemington

Tasmanian trainer Barry Campbell expects Derasa to measure up when the three-year-old filly makes her first mainland appearance at Flemington.

Derasa has won four of her seven starts, including her past three, and is scheduled to travel to Melbourne by ferry overnight on Thursday to run in Saturday's Ron Taylor Handicap (1000m) against her own age.

"I think she'll measure up," Campbell said.

"I'll be disappointed if she doesn't race really well because there's no reason she shouldn't. She's fit and well and she's strong.

"She's probably the best sprinting three-year-old (in Tasmania). I think she got beaten in two photo finishes so she could easily be six from seven."

Derasa will be ridden by multiple Group One-winning jockey Craig Newitt who moved back to his home state from Victoria last year and is leading this season's Tasmanian premiership.

He rode the filly to her two wins last preparation and was aboard again for her first-up victory at Launceston over 1100m on May 13.

"He is undefeated on her and he said she would be more than competitive," Campbell said.

Derasa won twice last November but Campbell said she got a leg knick and it forced them to turn her out for a spell and miss Tasmania's better summer carnival races for three-year-olds.

That brought a Melbourne winter trip into focus and Campbell said Derasa would have to race well to press on to next month's Listed Creswick Series Final at Flemington.

Saturday's race is a heat of the series.

"What you see is what you get with her," Campbell said.

"She's very honest. She's got plenty of pace. She can lead or race forward and she's fairly strong."