SA racing expert Aaron Barby brings you his preview of this Saturday’s Group 1 South Australian Derby at Morphettville.
Group 1 UBET South Australian Derby (2500m)
Set weights, three-year-olds
#1 Tangled (Chris Waller / Michael Walker)
Class runner, but I’m not huge of these horses coming over when they’ve already run their grand final and this is almost a bit of an afterthought. So I’m happy to risk even though the form is very good – I’d prefer to go with something that is set up a bit better for this race. It’s a really competitive race and you want them to tick all the boxes.
#2 Money Maher (Daniel & Ben Pearce / Jarrad Noske)
Had a perfect run in the WA Derby and just didn’t run out. That was a truly-run 2400m. His previous wins at Ascot both came with perfect runs. I think his best is probably just below what’s required here.
#3 Leicester (Darren Weir / Damian Lane)
Deserved favourite for mine. Won the traditional lead-up race in the Chairman’s Stakes. He had the suck run but showed good winning qualities at the business end and got it done. There was definitely merit in the sectionals and the margin. Weir and Lane combo and will be tough to beat.
#4 Civil Disobedience (Darren Weir / John Allen)
Caught wide in the Chairman’s. Previous run in the Port Adelaide Guineas was better – was beaten home by Leicester. He loomed and faded in the Chairman’s and I think Leicester is just a better horse based on the form lines.
#5 Main Stage (Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young / Damien Oliver)
Similar to Tangled for mine. Not a bad horse and stranger things have happened, but not for me.
#6 High Sherrif (Roger James / Leith Innes)
I respect Kiwi stayers when they come over but at this stage, after having had to travel for this, I don’t know if he’ll be as well prepared as those who are here and ready to go.
#7 Runaway (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott / Stephen Baster)
Flattered at Flemington in my opinion. Led at a really slow pace and dictated the race. I don’t think it’ll get the same favours here and this is a tougher field.
#8 Won Won Too (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig / Jordan Childs)
Sat second to Runaway at Flemington and was beaten fair and square. Had to do a bit of work to get there but it’s hard to give too much weighting to the run given how slow they were going.
#9 Savaheat (Darren Weir / Dean Yendall)
Good through the line last start off a slow tempo and there was a lot of merit in the last sectional. Hit the line well but was still a fair way behind Leicester and High ’N’ Dry. Just don’t think he’s quite at their level.
#10 Rezealient (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig / Jamie Kah)
Another one from the St Leger. That’s a good thing about this race – most of them are coming through a few lead-up runs which gives us good form lines. Gets Jamie Kah which doesn’t hurt. I’d like to have seen it stronger through the line at Flemington and I think it might just be slightly inferior form to the SA lead-up races.
#11 Silent Command (Nick Smart / Shayne Cahill)
A good winner for us in the Morphettville Guineas last year! This is a bit of a different scenario. I’m looking at his Port Adelaide Guineas run where he wasn’t bad, but again Leicester and High ’N’ Dry were running past them and I don’t think he’s as good as them. The market probably has him right.
#12 Into Rio (Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra / Damien Thornton)
Similar to Silent Command, just don’t think he’s as good as the top raters as shown in the Port Adelaide Guineas. Good that he’s won at 2200m but still just doesn’t look quite up to this.
#13 High ’N’ Dry (Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra / Andrew Mallyon)
Nice horse. Hitting the line really well at its last couple of starts and will get the trip. Another through the Port Adelaide Guineas and the Chairman’s, which is the best form line for this. Both races have looked a decent quality. Only thing against High’N’Dry is he gets so far back and will be giving Leicester a big head start again. Think the market has nailed it with them 1-2.
#14 Amerock (Darren Weir / Harry Coffey)
Third to the top two last start. He loomed but the other two went past him easily. Doesn’t look as good as them and barrier 20 isn’t great.
#15 Nothin’ Leica High (Robbie Griffiths / Dom Tourneur)
Third-up at 2500m after runs at 1600m and 1700m isn’t a great prep. Not for me.
#16 Box On Collins (Tony McEvoy / Luke Currie)
Thought it would be shorter. Was neck-and-neck with Amerock in the Chairman’s with a massive margin behind them. Was good through the line. Drawn awkwardly but is a place chance with a bit of luck in running.
#17 Tropical Lightning (Travis Doudle / Todd Pannell)
Has run in this class before in the spring where he finished behind a few here. At his best he’s a place chance here. Good jockey and should run the trip.
#18 Delos (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott / TBC)
Had to work a bit in the St Leger but they were walking, and he finished up well positioned and just faded. Don’t think he’ll be up to this.
#19 Johnny Vinko (Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young / Dwayne Dunn)
The form lines tie in. There’s also merit in the Geelong run where they ran a good time, and then Runaway franked the form in winning the St Leger. But again, just not sure it’s up to the local lead-in form.
I’m really respecting the traditional lead-in races here, and have Leicester and High ‘N’ Dry on top. It should be a really competitive race however.