While the racing action in Sydney is firming focused on the Australian Derby this weekend, next month it will be Adelaide’s turn to host a three-year-olds classic with the South Australian Derby 2012 confirmed as a target for Michael Kent’s Cranbourne galloper Backbone.
Set to run at Morphettville on Saturday May 5, the $350,000 Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) is one of South Australia’s premier events.
A number of promising three-year-olds are beginning SA Derby preparations including Mossman gelding Backbone who was nominated but not accepted for the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick this Saturday.
Kent, who won the 2011 Australian Oaks with Absolutely, named the SA Derby as the new target for the progressive youngster after they ran away with career win number three in the $100,000 Listed Galilee Final (2400m) at Mornington last Sunday, when ridden by Brad Rawiller, which was their first look at a mile and a half.
Another galloper on track for a shot at the South Australian Derby this year is the Tony McEvoy-trained local hope Pelicano.
The Court Of Jewels gelding caught the eye when they stepped up to 2150m for the first time in their six start career to run away and score a tidy three and a half-length victory in the Onkaparinga Cup at Oakbank on Easter Monday.
“He finally showed on the racetrack what he’s been showing me at home,” McEvoy said after the win.
“Pelicano works in the style of a quality horse but on raceday he has been making mistakes which have stopped him from really showing his ability – even though he had picked up three wins from his five starts before today.”
As for how they will get to the Derby, McEvoy said they would likely got to Morphettville against the older horses on May 21 as the program didn’t allow for a lead-up against their own age.
“Unfortunately I don’t think the SA program really suits staying three-year-olds so I may be forced to run him against the older horses again in a 2400 metre event at Morphettville Parks on May 21 as his Derby lead-up,” he said.
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Fancy a punt on this weekend’s big Derby, the 2012 Australian Derby at Randwick?