Caulfield-based horseman Robert Smerdon is preparing a two-pronged assault on next month’s SA Derby 2013 with stablemates Host Of The Party and Cooldini both targeting the Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival feature.
Running at Morphettville Racecourse on May 4, the $500,000 Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) is the premier race for three-year-olds in Adelaide each year and Smerdon is hoping to take out the quinella in 2013.
The trainer will saddle-up his two SA Derby-bound youngsters this Wednesday with the pair to clash at Sandown in the $35,000 City Of Greater Dandenong Cup (1600m).
In that run he is expecting a better showing from Host gelding Host Of The Party, outclassed last spring when 10th to Tatra in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m), who was an encouraging first-up fifth over 1400m at the track on March 20.
Co-favourite for Wednesday, Host Of The Party showed Smerdon they had the potential to develop into a nice Derby type in their second run last season when a very close fourth in an 1800m black type at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“We thought he might get over a bit of ground so we’re stepping him up in distance and he might end up in the South Australian Derby,” Smerdon said.
“His second start at Flemington last preparation was the one that flagged him as a prospective stayer.
“He drew wide (barrier 16 of 16), got back and made up a lot of ground late to finish fourth.”
Bernardini gelding Cooldini meanwhile comes via the same first-up race having finished ninth, an effort they will improve on as they get up in distance after winning over 2000m at Caulfield on Boxing Day.
“If you look at their first-up runs, Host Of The Party was sharper and Cooldini’s best part was the last part of the race,” Smerdon said.
“Hopefully they can both keep progressing to warrant a trip to Adelaide and maybe even Queensland.”
During the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival the duo’s likely goal would be the lucrative $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au over the coming weeks for more on the SA Derby.
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