As the only Group 1 race across the nation this weekend the Group 1 2013 South Australian Derby (2500m) is certainly worth tuning in for.
A talented and even group of three-year-old stayers will line up to compete for a share of $500,000 and the top three in betting are very hard to split.
There’s little between Shoreham ($4.20), Hioctdane ($4.40) and Hvasstan ($4.80) and all present genuine winning chances.
Shoreham is rising in grade but has received plenty of early money and showed he could run the trip last start.
The Saab Hasan-trained gelding is coming off a dominant win in the Listed Galilee Series Final (2500m) and if he can take that performance across the South Australian border he will have every chance.
Hasan admits it is a step up in class but is confident his charge is up to the test.
“When he won the Galilee (Series Final) last start, I trained him with some improvement still to come and hopefully with that extra run under his belt he can fly one more time,” Hasan said.
In a field largely dominated Victorians, Hicotdane is one of the best local hopes and he is certainly peaking at the right time.
The Richard Jolly-trained gelding was set for this race a long time ago and he is fresh off a 4 1/2 length win in the Veolia Stakes.
Hvasstan gets back to the anti-clockwise direction after struggling in two Sydney starts but was a Group 2 winner at Moonee Valley in March.
The only other runner to fall under double figures is the David Hayes-trained Gerontius ($8) who was last seen running fourth in the Australian Derby.
Other South Australian Derby contenders include local filly Molto Bene ($10) and Mick Kent’s last-start runner-up McNulty ($10).