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Melbourne trainer Robert Smerdon is hoping to see improvement from his up and coming three-year-old Cooldini when he steps them up in distance for this Saturday’s 2013 SA Derby in Adelaide.
The Bernardini gelding has won two of their eight starts to date, most recently a 2000m handicap at Caulfield back on Boxing Day, but has been out of form this time in.
Over the past month the horse has had four runs over distances ranging from 1400 – 1800m but has failed to finish better than fifth.
After three runs against older rivals at Sandown Hillside Cooldini was last seen racing against theirown age at Caulfield over 1800m when crossing just under five lengths away fifth to the Mick Price-trained Hunger.
While on paper that seems a big margin to be beaten by Smerdon saw enough in that run to continue with their interstate plans.
They go up to just over a mile and a half this weekend in the $500,000 Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville Racecourse taking on a classy field of fellow three-year-olds in the Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival feature.
In the latest SA Derby odds Cooldini pays $31 as one of the roughies, markets led by co-favourites Hvasstan and Hioctdane at $4.20.
While their long odds are justified looking at their lead-up form, Cooldini has been set for this race all season and Smerdon hopes that he will peak at the right time and be more competitive than their price suggests.
“He has been set solely for the race. From the moment we brought him back into work, we had this race as the aim for him,” Smerdon said.
The trainer is also banking on the 2500m and their favourable barrier seven draw, Jamie Mott to ride, to help Cooldini finish off better.
“He drew wide at the 1800 run (last start with barrier 11 of 16),” Smerdon said.
“He needs the 2500 metres now. That’s one thing, he will certainly run out the distance, which will take him a long way.
“He’s just about spot on for the race and he’ll run well.”
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