Exciting three-year-old Kushadasi has produced an incredible lunge on the line to win the featured Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) by just centimetres at Morphettville this afternoon, pipping late leader Scratchy Bottom on the line in a thrilling photo finish; Best Case running on to claim third.
Jumping from the gates only fairly, the Choisir gelding settled well within the pack, allowing early leader and resounding pre-post favourite Order Of The Sun to set a reasonable tempo rounding onto the back straight.
Maintaining position within the pack with cover, Kushadasi slowly began spooling up when finding the final straight, and while appearing to be out of contention when Scratchy Bottom cut the corner and broke clear, displayed a keen turn to foot to find the line no more than a few inches in the green.
Returning to the track in career best form this preparation, Kushadasi was unlucky to finish second to Hucklebuck in the Dominant Handicap (1200m) first-up on February 1st, but continued to work towards back-to-back victories over 1600 metres in minor events and a strong second in the Listed Adelaide Guineas (1800m) on April 12th.
Likely to return to the spelling paddock following today’s maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing, trainer Richard Jolly was understandably thrilled with Kushadasi’s performance in the 2014 South Australian Derby.
Appearing to have finished a short nose in the clear at first glance, Scratchy Bottom was unlucky to be judged second in the 2014 SA Derby, but in doing so has still continued her impressive career start.
The winner of two races and two places from only seven career starts, the Sebring filly has been one of the country’s standout three-year-old since debuting in the late 2013 spring; particularly this season in finishing fourth in the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m) and third in the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) most notably.
Undoubtedly the surprise packet in claiming third in the 2014 South Australian Derby, Best Case was delivered a typically perfectly timed ride from champion jockey Damien Oliver, and appeared to be craving extra distance upon finding the line just a half-length in the red.
Claiming three wins and three places from just 12 starts to date, the Savabeel gelding has been a noted performer over staying events this season; finishing fifth in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes on March 22nd before running on from the rear of the pack to finish just off the pace in third in the Group 2 Nathan Berry Tulloch Stakes (2000m) most notably.
While yet to confirm where Best Case will head next, trainer Anthony Cummings has included the gelding out of Ambitious in nominations for several major races over the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, including the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) on June 7th.
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2014 South Australian Derby Results
|1||3||KUSHADASI||Richard Jolly||Steven Arnold||–||3||56.5kg||$4.60|
|2||16||SCRATCHY BOTTOM||Michael Kent||Dom Tourneur||0.1L||1||54.5kg||$5.50|
|3||2||BEST CASE (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Damien Oliver||0.6L||7||56.5kg||$12|
|4||1||GAMBLIN’ GURU||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Jason Holder||0.7L||16||56.5kg||$8|
|5||17e||LORD ATHENAEUM (NZ)||Stuart Webb||Ms Jackie Beriman (a)||4.2L||6||56.5kg||$101|
|6||4||ORDER OF THE SUN||Gai Waterhouse||Vlad Duric||5.6L||4||56.5kg||$3.90F|
|7||7||HONEY STEEL’S GOLD||David Hayes||Matthew Neilson||6.1L||10||56.5kg||$21|
|8||8||BRING SOMETHING||Ken Keys||Mark Zahra||6.2L||12||56.5kg||$8|
|9||12||SURGING WAVE||David Hayes||Michael Walker||11.3L||13||56.5kg||$51|
|10||13||GRAVITATIONAL||Danny O’Brien||James Winks||13.1L||8||56.5kg||$12|
|11||14||FAMILY PRIDE (NZ)||Murray Johnson||Cory Parish||13.5L||15||56.5kg||$201|
|12||11||MORE REWARDING||Mick Price||Dean Yendall||14.8L||2||56.5kg||$51|
|13||5||EXCITES ZELADY||Chris Bieg||Amy Herrmann||18.5L||14||56.5kg||$31|
|14||15||REDNAV||Greg Eurell||Simon Price||19.9L||11||56.5kg||$41|
|15||10||MAJESTIC MOMENT||Richard Jolly||Joe Bowditch||32.9L||5||56.5kg||$51|
|16||9||CRIME FIGHTER||Peter G Moody||Steven King||52.1L||9||56.5kg||$21|