Trainer David Hayes is confident in a competitive showing for Honey Steel’s Gold in today’s featured Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) following an exceptional run for second in the Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) last time out.
While finishing more than seven lengths behind champion and fellow South Australian Derby acceptor Order Of The Sun, Hayes said the decrease in distance is likely to play into the strengths of the Keep The Faith gelding this afternoon, particularly if any inclement weather is experienced.
“I think that a couple of hundred metres less will be better for Honey” Hayes said.
“He had a beautiful run with Craig Williams on board last start, but I think with the tempo of the mile and a half he will be more relaxed.
“If it does happen to get the rain that is forecast then he will be an even better chance because he does handle the wet.”
Securing an impressive total of three victories and four places from just 16 competitive appearances so far, Honey Steel’s Gold has arguably hit career best form over his current preparation; claiming the Mistable Maiden (1800m) on March 5th and working towards a strong run for third in the ListedGalilee Series Final (2400m) prior to the St Leger.
Having drawn the slightly awkward barrier 12, Honey Steel’s Gold is currently offered at particularly generous odds on $19 for success in the 2014 South Australian Derby, or $5.40 for a place.
Strolling home to win the St Leger with ease last time out, Order Of The Sun has opened and maintained favouritism in betting markets for success in the SA Derby; currently offered at a quote of $4.60.
Following the impressive triumph, trainer Gai Waterhouse is understandably confident in the chances of the Encosta De Lago colt this afternoon.
“It was a good win in the St Leger and he will go to the Derby” Waterhouse told AAP earlier this week.
Up-and-coming star Chad Schofield partnered Order Of The Sun to victory in the 2014 St Leger, and gave a great account of the exciting three-year-old ahead of in-form jockey Vlad Duric taking up the reigns this afternoon.
“He bowled along and travelled strongly in my hands for me” Schofield said following the St Leger.
“He never dropped the bridle at any stage, he was tough and strong and fit and he ran his rivals into the ground.
“He was very well prepared for that distance and he’ll be very hard to beat in the Derby.
“I think he does have enough brilliance to match it with the stronger three-year-olds.”
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