There is just one Group 1 running around the country this weekend, the South Australian Derby 2014 to take centre stage at Morphettville Racecourse, and nominations for the Adelaide feature can be found below.
A bumper 41 three-year-olds make up the nominations for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m), the field for which fits a capacity 16 starters plus four emergencies.
While there’s a whole host of talented local gallopers in the mix, it is an interstate raider who looks the top fancy in this year’s SA Derby line-up with the Gai Waterhouse-trained Order Of The Sun leading pre-post betting.
A failure in back-to-back Sydney races over the past month, the talented Encosta De Lago colt stormed into SA Derby favouritism after annihilating their rivals in Melbourne on Friday.
In a low key ANZAC Day clash, the twice Group 1 performed Order Of The Sun lead all the way before taking out the $150,000 Listed VRC St Ledge (2800m) by a barnstorming seven lengths.
They beat the favourite Honey Steel’s Gold by the massive margin there over the 2800m, the youngster’s first look at further than 2000m, and so looks a shoe-in to handle the drop back to 2500m for the Derby on the weekend.
Another top South Australian Derby nominee is fellow interstate raider Bring Something, Ken Keys’ Sebring gelding last seen winning a Black Type at Caulfield over 2400m on April 12 – a race VRC St Ledger runner-up Honey Steel’s Gold ran third in.
The best fancied of the local South Australian-trained three-year-olds shooting for the Derby win on Saturday then is Gamblin’ Guru.
Leon MacDonald & Andrew Gluyas’ New Approach three-year-old has gone back-to-back at the track thanks to their narrow wins in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) and then last Saturday’s Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2000m).
They only had a nose to spare in both races but do have winning form up to 2200m in the mud in the Geelong Classic from last October so if they can settle the distance this weekend should be okay.
Second and third over the line in the Chairman’s Stakes, Excites Zelady and Gravitational also both feature in the SA Derby nominations.
Local Excites gelding Excites Zelady, prepared by Chris Bieg, improved on their Port Adelaide Guineas sixth and should also appreciate more distance.
The fast finishing Gravitational meanwhile made up lots of late ground for their third, the Danny O’Brien-trained Melbourne visitor improving on their fourth in the Geelong Classic behind Gamblin’ Guru last prep.
Beaten Chairman’s Stakes favourite Kushadasi is still considered a top fancy for the staying feature this weekend meanwhile, the Richard Jolly-trained son of Choisir a back-to-back winner over the mile here in March before their second in the Port Adelaide then fourth in the Chairman’s.
While stepping up to the 2500m will be the question for Kushadasi, their seemingly below par finish last weekend can be accredited to them being forced back from a wide gate and so barriers will play an important part in the Derby.
Jolly has also nominated for his Barley A Moment gelding Majestic Moment who shoots for their third straight win, their most recent effort being over 2200m at Balaklava on April 16.
Other notable early hopes among the entries then include Anthony Cummings’ Sydney raider Best Case last seen running eighth in the ATC Derby (2400m) in the mud, the Michael Kent-trained Sebring filly Scratchy Bottom who ran an eye catching third behind May’s Dream in the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks her last weekend and the Peter Moody-trained Crime Fighter.
Moody, who enjoyed Group 1 success in Adelaide with Black Caviar, has a total of eight South Australian Derby nominees this year including his Schweppes Oaks fourth placegetter Quayside.
See below for the full South Australian Derby 2014 nominations with the final field and barriers due for release on Wednesday.
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2014 South Australian Derby Nominations
Morphettville Racecourse – 03/05/2014
|1||AKAGERA||Peter G Moody||63|
|2||ALWAYS LUCKY (NZ)||Lee & Shannon Hope||59|
|3||BEST CASE (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||84|
|4||BRING SOMETHING||Ken Keys||72|
|5||BUSINESS DECISION||Jim Smith||61|
|6||CADILLAC MOUNTAIN||Peter G Moody||73|
|8||CRIME FIGHTER||Peter G Moody||72|
|9||DE LITTLE ENGINE||Danny O’Brien||68|
|10||EVERY FAITH||Robert Smerdon||76|
|11||EXALTED TOBY||Karen Byrnes||61|
|12||EXCITES ZELADY||Chris Bieg||79|
|13||FAMILY PRIDE (NZ)||Murray Johnson||65|
|15||IN MASQUERADE (NZ)||Peter G Moody||72|
|17||LADS ON FIRE||Daniel Halliday||62|
|18||LADY TATIA||Peter G Moody||66|
|19||LORD ATHENAEUM (NZ)||Stuart Webb||61|
|20||MAJESTIC MOMENT||Richard Jolly||68|
|22||MEADOWS ANGEL||Karen Byrnes||68|
|24||MORE REWARDING||Mick Price||67|
|25||MOUNTAIN JACK (NZ)||Robyn & Russell Rogers||68|
|26||ORDER OF THE SUN||Gai Waterhouse||73|
|27||PERFECT COMPANY||Greg Eurell||62|
|28||QUAYSIDE||Peter G Moody||70|
|31||SCRATCHY BOTTOM||Michael Kent||71|
|32||SECRET METEOR||Leon Corstens||56|
|33||SOUTHERN METEOR||Peter G Moody||61|
|34||STELLARIZED||Peter G Moody||61|
|35||SURGE AHEAD||Anthony Cummings||76|
|36||SYNTHETIC (NZ)||Robert Smerdon||68|
|37||THE TERRICKS||Robbie Griffiths||62|
|38||THROW THE KING||John Sadler||70|
|40||WHISTLE STOP||Terry Kelly||62|
|41||WORD OF MOUTH||Leon Corstens||61|