Tomorrow will see the running of the Group 1 SA Derby at Morphettville, again offering the three-year-olds their chance to claim coveted Group One glory.
Chapada - Michael Moroney | William Pike
Ran third in last year’s Group 1 VRC Derby and third in this year’s Rosehill Guineas. Finished well back in the ATC Derby last start on soft ground but that Rosehill Guineas placing was on heavy going. Quite the classy horse and his big race experience should put him right in this race.
Mr Quickie - Phillip Stokes | John Allen
The race favourite and probably rightly so with his overall career record. Eight wins and two seconds from eleven starts shows that he’s one of the most in-form horses in the country. Was a comfortable winner over 2000m last start at Caulfield but his only query is his wet track ability. Has only seen good tracks in each of his eleven starts.
Declarationofheart - Anthony Freedman | Clayton Douglas
The short price Chairman’s Stakes winner blew his rivals away here a fortnight ago and the extra 400m looks right up his alley. Finished eighth in the ATC Derby two starts back which was his only start on a wet track. If he can handle that he’s a massive show to be the seventh winner out of the Chairman’s in the last ten years.
Grinzinger Star - Danny O'Brien | Damien Oliver
Secret Blaze - Tony McEvoy | Luke Currie
Was very impressive winning the Listed Galilee Final at Caulfield last month over 2400m. Has almost had a month’s freshen up between that run which will mean he’s going to be nice and fresh for his first Group 1 assignment. He’s been incredibly consistent and looks as if this has been his goal for a long time.
Classic Weiwei - Tony McEvoy | Barend Vorster
The gelding out of Cox Plate winner Shamus Award won the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas before running third in the Chairman’s Stakes last start. He produced a big run from the tail there only to miss by 1.5 lengths. He’s built a fantastic rapport with Barend Vorster in a short time, the two combining for three wins and a third placing from four starts.
Star Missile - Greg Eurell | Ben Allen
The horse that just beat Classic Weiwei home in the Chairman’s for second has some interesting form lines around some of the favourites. He wasn’t far off Declarationofheart in the Chairman’s after finishing third behind Grinzinger Start and Mr Quickie at Caulfield earlier on. Greg Eurell is a fantastic trainer and will have him trained to the minute for this.
Ridgewood Drive - Anthony Freedman | Damien Thornton
Rocketed into second favouritism for this race after winning at Flemington last weekend over 2000m. Was pretty good in the Port Adelaide Guineas the start prior and now joins his stablemate Declarationofheart here and off his last start run, it could very well be a winning quinella for Anthony Freedman.
Savvy Oak - Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young | Michael Walker
The New Zealand bred gelding ran seventh in last year’s VRC Derby and is slowly starting to put together some good form this preparation. Won two starts back over 2000m at Cranbourne and just missed last start at the same track over the same distance. Wouldn’t surprise at all.
Mangione - Chris Waller | Dwayne Dunn
The Chris Waller colt is one of the runners in the field who has genuine wet track form with two wins and a second from four starts on soft ground. Was sixth in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes on heavy ground over 2000m. In his last two starts he’s dropped back in grade and distance but the 2500m looks suitable and he has the magical Waller touch.
Star Status - Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas | Raquel Clark
A horse who has been so close to a win in his last few runs where he ran third in the Port Adelaide Guineas and fourth in the Chairman’s Stakes. Was probably a little unlucky in that last start and while he’s a roughie in the field he’s in the right stable. Leon Macdonald has won this race twice with French Cotton and Rebel Raider.
Zouy’s Comet - Richard Laming | Jamie Mott
Follows Ridgewood Drive across the border from last weekend where he was six lengths off him in sixth place. Finished a fair way back in his start prior and it looks like he’d need to improve a fair bit to push these runners.
Resurge - Tony McEvoy | Todd Pannell
Dropped out to finish near the tail in the Port Adelaide Guineas two starts back before having an easy kill at Strathalbyn in BM64 company over 2065m. Barend Vorster chose to ride the stablemate Classic Weiwei so Todd Pannell takes the ride on Resurge. Probably stretched to match these but does have two wins to his name on soft ground.
Gayson - Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott | Stephen Baster
Won his last start by a whopping 6.4 lengths at Newcastle last start in much weaker grade over 2340m. He only broke his maiden status two starts prior to that as well. You can never write off a horse out of the Waterhouse-Bott yard but it would be a massive upset if he pinched the Derby.
Manzala - Nick Smart | Jarrod Lorensini
The longest priced runner in the field will need to improve a fair bit to feature here. Ran fifth behind Secret Blaze two starts back at Bendigo and was 3.5 lengths off him that day.
Qafila - David & B Hayes & T Dabernig | Cory Parish
The only filly in the race will hoping to emulate the success of Delicacy in the 2015 Derby when the girls beat the boys and on her best form she is definitely a chance. Ran fourth in the SA Oaks last weekend and fifth in the VRC Oaks last year. She has some serious quality about her and will lap up the 2500m.
Zesto - Byron Cozamanis |Jason Maskiell
The first of the Emergencies will gain a start after the scratching of Grinzinger Star. Ran very well at huge odds in the Listed VRC St Ledger last start over 2800m so you know he’s definitely going to get the trip. He’s need to produce a big run like that again as his form prior was quite patchy.
Mint To Be - Chris Bieg
The second emergency is a chance to gain a start with the forecast rain around. The gelding ran fourth at massive odds in the Port Adelaide Guineas before finishing eighth in the Chairman’s last start. Tends to run up near the speed and looks like he’d need a bit of luck to turn the tables on some of his rivals in the Chairman’s.
Ourkhani - Richard Jolly & Chantelle Jolly | Jake Toeroek
If he gets a run it would be only his fourth career start and off of his Chairman’s run it is hard to see him claiming a Group 1 win against this field.
The Mallee Mob - Terry & Karina O'Sullivan | Michael Poy
Broke his maiden status last start in the BM58 at Swan Hill over 2100. Won that comfortably by 3.5 lengths and while the extra distance looks to suit it would be a miracle if he won.