A field of 15 colts & geldings and one filly will contest Saturday’s Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville.
Mr Quickie heads the betting for the feature, with Ridgewood Drive and Chapada among the dangers.
We preview the Group 1 and predict what might unfold at Morphettville.
1. CHAPADA ($6.01): It has been a strange preparation for the Victoria Derby placegetter Chapada. He ran the best last 600m of the race first-up the C.S. Hayes Stakes then pulled up with an irregular heartbeat in the Australian Guineas (1600m). He went to Sydney and was huge when third in the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) behind The Autumn Sun. That run might have flattened him as he was poor last start in the Australian Derby. He is 35 days between runs and may face a rain affected track again.
2. MR QUICKIE ($4.01): The ex-Weir galloper is a complete winner and John Allen suits this horse. They walked in front last start in the Vobis race at Caulfield and the seas parted at the top of the straight and he proved far too good. Two starts he just found 60kg too challenging late in a much faster run race than the 15.5 lengths below benchmark walk he faced at Mornington the start prior. He can blend into the race from barrier 13 and is a genuine winning chance, the only niggling thought I have is, was that sit and sprint race at Caulfield the right platform for a 2500m Group One?
3. DECLEARATIONOFHEART ($6.26): He finally broke through for another win last start in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2032m) at Morphettville against Star Missile and Classic Weiwei. He went 4.8 lengths faster than benchmark to the 600m and 4.5 length faster than benchmark over the last 600m to record a very solid time of 9.3 lengths above benchmark. He got the perfect run through the pack at the top of the straight which helps but he was still very strong through the line. The extra distance looks to suit and he maps well from barrier four. That Chairman’s Stakes form does look the B-C grade formlines but his runs around Global Exchange suggest he is an A grade horse.
5. SECRET BLAZE ($8.51): I thought Secret Blaze had reached his ceiling when he won at Bendigo two starts ago but keeps improving through his preparation. He improved from the mounting yard against last start at Caulfield and bolted in against Transact who went onto win the VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington. His figure of 9.9 lengths above benchmark suggests he is still improving and although he did start $41 when Declarationofheart was $6.50 at Moonee Valley three starts ago, I don’t think there is as much between those two runners as the market suggested on that occasion.
8. RIDGEWOOD DRIVE ($5.01): I’m confident the Anthony Freedman-trained Ridgewood Drive will start favourite, as the pro punters should find him as a bet. He comes off a fast run race and is on the quick seven-day back-up. The leaders went 14.2 lengths above benchmark to the 600m last start at Flemington and he flew down the outside and bolted in. It was a peach of a ride from Thornton and that last start figure of 14.5 lengths above benchmark is the best last start figure in the race. The 2500m looks a positive and the stable knows how to peak horses for Group One races.
Trainer Anthony Freedman is a master at getting his horses to peak for Group One races and I’m confident that Ridgewood Drive can do exactly that.
I believe Ridgewood Drive will start favourite. He comes through a very fast run race last start at Flemington and is on the quick seven-day backup, which pro punters and big syndicates love.
The clear other formline is with Mr Quickie. The Ex-Weir galloper now with Phillip Stokes is simply a winner. John Allen goes on board and his riding style should suit this horse perfectly.
- Ridgewood Drive
- Mr Quickie
- Secret Blaze