If Tony Millard takes out tomorrow's Derby with Sambuca, the success will have a different taste - a victory of planning over opportunism by comparison with his first Derby in 2000. As a Hong Kong rookie, Millard took over Keen Winner when the gelding had raced just once as a Patrick Biancone-trained griffin for an April win and in some ways it was a mad rush to get him to win the Derby at his sixth start. 'They were different times. Housemaster had run fourth in the Epsom Derby and dominated the race,' Millard recalled. 'Keen Winner had a dream lead-up to the race with two strong wins but he was scrambling all season to get his ratings points up to make the field. Sambuca had a fairly high rating at the start of this season so he wasn't under that kind of pressure, which can bring you undone, though it didn't with Keen Winner. I could just train Sambuca with the Derby itself in mind high from the time he came back this season.' And the plan goes back even further, with Millard buying Sambuca for Jockey Club steward Simon Ip Sik-on after seeing him race in South Africa as a two-year-old. 'I liked the way he ran and how quickly he'd risen - he won a group two at his third start,' Millard said. 'So I bought him, thinking he might develop as he has, but he was always very light. He sweated and was very nervous, taking a lot out of himself in training and on race day and it took a long time to get him to relax and acclimatise. 'His work riders and jockeys had to be carefully matched with him - a horse can go the wrong way with the wrong rider - but Dwayne Dunn got along with him from the start and we spent a lot of time getting the horse to drop the bit and enjoy himself. Now he's fine.' Dunn spent the first half of this term retained by Millard before returning to Australia but, fresh from his first group one victory at home, finds himself recalled for the Derby ride after a falling out between the trainer and Glyn Schofield. 'This is probably a deeper race than Keen Winner's year, with these good Australian horses, Vengeance Of Rain, Grand Zulu and High Intelligent. They're the big three we have to beat but my horse is very well,' Millard said. 'A lot of the others might not get the trip, depending on the pace, but it isn't an issue with Sambuca. From barrier three, with his running style, all our options are open. He'll be close if they go slowly and he'll settle a little further back if they run quickly. He has a lot going for him. He's always done his best at the end of his races, he has a big heart and he loves a fight.'