Bikila has followed a similar path to Ethiopia and Cedarberg ahead of Saturday’s $2 million Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick.
WA breeder-owner Trevor Delroy and trainer Pat Carey won the 2012 Australian Derby with Ethiopia after the gelding finished second in the Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
Bikila, named after Ethiopia’s famous marathon runner Abebe Bikila, won over 1600m at Sandown on March 4 and then finished seventh in the Alister Clark on March 20.
He will have only his fifth start in the derby.
Cedarberg scored in a 1510m maiden at Mornington on debut and was elevated to the 2010 Australian Derby, where he ran seventh to Shoot Out at his fourth start. He went on to win The BMW in 2011.
“This actually will be my fourth derby starter,” Delroy said. “Mufasa ran 12th in the 2008 derby.
“We are looking at this as a working holiday for the horse.
“He is still very green, but we have found travelling does them the world of good.
“We rate him as a progressive horse that will get better with the spring in mind.”
Bikila is the TAB’s rank outsider at $101, with Victoria Derby winner Preferment heading the market at $3.50.
William Pike has snared a full book of nine rides at Caulfield on Saturday.