The sight of Complacent bounding off the turf at Flemington yesterday morning did nothing to boost the confidence of trainer John O'Shea, who is preparing Victoria Derby rival Savvy Nature.
The Peter Snowden-trained Complacent has beaten Savvy Nature in the Gloaming Stakes and Spring Champion Stakes in Sydney and looms as the horse to beat in Saturday's $1.5 million race.
"One of the first things I saw this morning was him (Complacent) coming off the track bouncing," O'Shea said.
"He's obviously feeling very good. Peter will have him trained to the minute. He'll be well ridden and well prepared, so we're going to have to really step up to the plate if we want to win."
O'Shea is hoping Savvy Nature can turn the tables on Complacent in the race he's been aimed at all preparation.
"He's been set for one race and right at the moment it seems to be right on track," he said.
Savvy Nature joined Complacent as derby favourite with victory in last Saturday's Group 2 Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley, a race Snowden decided he didn't need to run Complacent in to have him at his best for Saturday.
O'Shea insists today's barrier draw will play a big part in Savvy Nature's chances.
"I think that if we are going to win, the barriers are going to be vital," O'Shea said.
"The two times we've met him (Complacent), we've had to give him a big start. We just need to draw a gate where we can sort of get within striking distance in the run so that we are not setting ourselves too great a task."
O'Shea hopes to draw inside barrier eight.
He expects the seven-day back-up, a bigger track and the experience Savvy Nature gained from his first Melbourne start to help.
And O'Shea is also confident the son of Savabeel can run out the derby trip.
O'Shea also has VRC Oaks contender Gypsy Diamond lining up at Flemington on Saturday in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m). She took out the Group 2 Fillies Classic (1600m) at Moonee Valley last Friday night.
Melbourne, The West Australian - October 30, 2013, 6:50 am