Horse Racing

South Australian Derby Preview

The 2018 UBET South Australian Derby will be run over 2500m on Saturday May 12 with a capacity field set to tackle the Group One staying test for three-year-olds. Full tips for the Derby meeting will be available on Friday morning. 

This looks a competitive South Australian Derby, with six runners coming through the Chairman’s Stakes (won by Leicester), five from the VRC St Leger (won by Runaway), while there are two from the AJC Derby, one from the WA Derby and a highly-touted Kiwi raider for good measure.

The varied formlines make it a hard race to assess for both pace and form. Runaway will likely push over from the wide barrier and attempt to dominate from the front, as he did at Flemington. Roughies Delos and Tropical Lightning will also want the lead while Won Won Too, Savaheat and Rezealient will be not far away.

Race favourite Leicester may have to cover some extra ground from barrier nine but he’s likely to get cover off what should be a good tempo. The blinkers come off both Money Maher and Civil Disobedience, which should see them settle further back.

Civil Disobedience (4) is the horse that interests most, especially at the double figure odds. He has been up since October, winning the Tassie Derby in February in strong fashion before heading to New Zealand to take on their Derby, where he finished a luckless seventh. He was then set for this race but was given a short break before heading over to SA.

Off that freshen, he was excellent working to the line in the Port Adelaide Guineas behind stablemate Leicester. He then appeared in the Chairman’s where he settled far too close with the blinkers on, took off early and was out of legs late. It wasn’t John Allen’s best ride and he gets the chance to make amends here by riding him in his preferred way.

Leicester(3) has beaten him the two times they have met but is untested beyond 2000m and is by noted sprinter Wanted. He has the most class of this lot, but I’m concerned this staying test will make him vulnerable, especially off a strong tempo.  

Tangled(1) is the other class runner of the race, having run three placings in Group 1 races so far in his career, including a third in the AJC Derby. He certainly has the miles in his legs and comes to this off a narrow second in the Frank Packer Plate. However, his win strike rate doesn’t inspire confidence and while he can be competitive, I’m not convinced he can challenge the Weir pair.

The best of the rest is High ‘n’ Dry(13), who has been excellent in his two SA lead-up runs. He beat all bar Leicester home last time, but the barrier (18) has set Andrew Mallyon a task and the pair are likely to get a long way back in the run. He will be rattling home late though and represents a definite threat to the top three should the race pan out in his favour.

BEST BET: Happy to be with Civil Disobedience at the double figure odds.

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