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Strong field assembled, as Victorian visitors chase successive Hill Smith Stakes

Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr will chase a second successive $100,000 Listed Hill Smith Stakes (1800m) victory with a pair of maidens at Morphettville on Saturday.

Deepstrike and Dalgarno are two of seven runners – among the field of 12 acceptors – hoping to enhance their chances of a tilt at the $2 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on October 31.

Price and Kent Jr won the race last year with Craftmanship, who went on to run eighth behind Warning in the Derby.

The David Hayes trained Kibbutz was the last horse to win the Hill Smith before claiming Derby success, back in 2007, while Rebel Raider finished fifth the following year before he claimed the Derby three weeks later.

Tony and Calvin McEvoy have accepted with four horses in the feature.

Stable rider Barend Vorster has opted to ride one of just two fillies in the race, Victoria Quay, who backs-up from a smart win at Balaklava on Cup Day. Ryan Hurdle picks up the ride on The Brumby, who returns to Adelaide after two luckless runs in Melbourne. He was scratched from Flemington last weekend when he faced a tricky wide gate.

Stablemates Zeppa and The Olympian will be ridden by Jake Toeroek and Paul Gatt respectively.

Anthony and Sam Freedman have Ain’tnodeeldun heading over after winning a Sale maiden in impressive fashion last month and the son of Dundeel is expected to open favourite.

Meanwhile Morphettville horseman Gordon Richards said it was time for Crown Mint to step up – after disappointing at Moonee Valley last time – if the stable was to push on towards returning to Melbourne.

Michael Hickmott will be hoping to continue his brilliant start to the season with Talamo, while So You Can will be trying to give Hall Of Fame horseman Leon Macdonald and co-trainer Andrew Gluyas their fourth win in the race in the past 10 years.

IMAGE: Victoria Quay winning on Balaklava Cup day last month.

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