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Northwest Passage after fourth Listed win

An unorthodox path towards the Australian Derby continues for stayer-on-the-rise Northwest Passage when he takes on older horses again in Melbourne.

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained gelding is favourite to add Saturday’s Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) at Flemington to his recent wins in the Hobart Guineas (2100m), Tasmanian Derby (2200m) and then Torney Night Cup (2500m), also at Listed level.

After dominant wins in the two Tasmanian features against his own age, Northwest Passage took on older horses in the Torney Night Cup at Moonee Valley on February 17, producing a tough on-speed performance to win by three-quarters of a length.

The Torney Night Cup was the first time Katelyn Mallyon had ridden Northwest Passage and she will be out to maintain her record on the gelding on Saturday,.

Adam Hyeronimus has ridden Northwest Passage in four of his six starts for three wins including in his stakes wins in Tasmania.

“He’s proven that he can beat the older horses after last start and I’m sure getting to the big track of Flemington is going to suit him even better than Moonee Valley,” Mallyon said.

“He’s an outstanding stayer and I know he’s pulled up well from that run.

“He will give a great sight.”

Northwest Passage is at $15 in an early market for the Group One Australian Derby at Randwick on April 1 and also holds a nomination for the Sydney Cup a week later.

Northwest Passage is at $4.40 for Saturday’s race ahead of Big Memory at $5.50 and Bagot Handicap winner Annus Mirabilis at $6.50.

The race will be one of the key Adelaide Cup lead-up races with 10 of the 15 acceptors for the Roy Higgins Quality among the 41 nominations for the $400,000 Adelaide Cup (3200m) which is on March 13.

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