Wymark possible Derby dark horse

Progressive staying three-year-old Wymark will run in Saturday’s Tulloch Stakes at Rosehill.

WYMARK. Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

Michael Freedman admits he has been a bit surprised by Wymark's rapid progression, which sees him a $2.50 favourite for Saturday's Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m), but believes the horse is hitting the race at the right time.

The son of Savabeel turned heads with a 9.4 length win at Newcastle over 1850m two starts back and easily accounted for the older horses at benchmark 78 level at Rosehill over 1900m last start, and Freedman is hoping a strong performance will convince the stable to pay a late acceptance fee for the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) the following week.

"He seems in good order, he's been kept up to the mark since then and I'm happy with him, I'm looking forward to him going around again Saturday," Freedman said.

"I think, had I genuinely thought he was going to progress to these sorts of level he probably wouldn't have gone to the Gold Coast for a maiden up there and back again and all that but he's just gone to a new level now that his races have started to stretch out."

"He's not an overly big horse, but as we've stretched him out he's really relished it so he's probably snuck up on me a little bit in that respect… he's obviously gone to a much higher level."

The Tulloch Stakes/ATC Derby double has been completed nine times, four times in a row between 2017-2020 and Freedman will be guided to Wymark's performance on Saturday as to whether he backs the horse up, but believes the horse will acquit himself well this weekend.

"We'll see what unfolds on Saturday, obviously if he gives us good reason to look at paying the late entry into the Derby then we'd certainly give that plenty of thought… Tommy (Berry) had some good things to say about him so I guess back to his own age group at set weights, you'd be going in hopeful he could measure up and put his hand up," Freedman said.

The stable also have recent Kembla Grange Classic placegetter Waikato Girl nominated for Saturday's Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) but Freedman suggested she'll likely run next week in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) before a possible Oaks tilt.

"Given her pedigree, out of a Galileo mare, if we were going to try and take on Orchestral at that sort of level, I'd rather try and do it at a mile-and-a-half," Freedman said.