A come-from-behind win from the Nick Smart-trained October Date has confirmed a Group 1 SA Derby target this Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival for the improving three-year-old.
The course proper at Morphettville hosted the traditional Derby lead-up on Anzac Day with a field of young hopefuls facing off in the $115,000 Group 3 South Australian Chairman’s Stakes (2020m).
Eventual last-past-the-post in the set weights clash, the Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas-trained Frank Heavens was up on the speed early from his barrier three draw leading them around in the Chairman’s.
Lee & Shannon Hope’s lightly-framed Sir Percy gelding Prima debuted down under, his seven previous runs all being back in New Zealand, and he was handy from the start getting up to sit second on the outside of the frontrunner.
In third was Lucques while the red hot favourite Magicool, fifth in the Group 1 Victorian Derby (2500m) in Melbourne last November and coming off a Caulfield win, went right back to last by the time they were on the back straight.
Making up ground after settling to move from fifth to third was Beau’s My Boy for John O’Connor who had apprentice jockey Sigrid Carr aboard in the important Group 3 autumn clash.
Second favourite in the markets, October Date meanwhile was sitting third last as they worked their way into the turn for home ridden by Shayne Cahill.
At the top of the straight it was the former Kiwi Prima leading them towards the line, Magicool still fourth last and never working his way into the scene for the punters.
October Date ($4.20) charged down the outside over the closing stages coming after the likes of Beau’s My Boy and the Phillip Stokes-trained Time Walker who were making their way into the clear.
The Chairman’s quickly turned into a two horse war over the final few hundred metres with October Date and Mick Price’s Fastnet Rock colt from Melbourne Maysoor ($61), coming off a distant fourth behind Jim’s Journey in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) from April 11.
The two went at it stride for stride, the long-priced roughie Maysoor looking to come back in a desperately tight finish before a photo revealed October Date as the Chairman’s Stakes winner by a nose.
Third was Ron Daniel’s Chu Chu Charlie ($26), ridden by Jake Toeroek, who finished top three for the ninth time to keep his perfect 100% Place Rate in check.
October Date is now right on track for an elite level test in the $500,000 Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 9, a race last year’s winner Kushadasi won on the back of a Chairman’s Stakes fourth.
The Chairman’s Stakes has produced three of the past six SA Derby winners, with the last to complete the double being Rebel Raider (2009).
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2015 Chairman’s Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Morphettville Race 7 – 25/04/2015
|1||3||OCTOBER DATE||Nick Smart||Shayne Cahill||–||8||57.5kg||$4.20|
|2||17e||MAYSOOR||Mick Price||Troy Baker||0.1L||12||57.5kg||$71|
|3||4||CHU CHU CHARLIE||Ron Daniel||Jake Toeroek (a)||4.2L||5||57.5kg||$31|
|4||15||TIME WALKER||Phillip Stokes||Paul Gatt||4.2L||7||57.5kg||$21|
|5||9||THERMOGENIC||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||4.4L||11||57.5kg||$8|
|6||6||TURBO STREET||Tony McEvoy||Matthew Neilson||4.5L||13||57.5kg||$8.50|
|7||12||GRUMPY GURU||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Todd Pannell||5L||15||57.5kg||$31|
|8||1||MAGICOOL||Mark Kavanagh||Joe Bowditch||6.8L||2||57.5kg||$3.20F|
|9||11||THE NARCISSIST||Darren Weir||John Allen||7.5L||1||57.5kg||$15|
|10||8||VALDEZ||Graeme McCulloch & David Keating||Simon Price||8.1L||14||57.5kg||$61|
|11||5||LUCQUES||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Noel Callow||8.6L||6||57.5kg||$11|
|12||14||SUPERHEIST||John A O’Connor||Harry Coffey (a)||9.7L||4||57.5kg||$81|
|13||7||BEAU’S MY BOY||Jon O’Connor||Ms Sigrid Carr (a)||9.8L||9||57.5kg||$31|
|14||13||MAKO MAGIC||Craig Curtis||Jeffrey Maund||10L||10||57.5kg||$61|
|15||2||PRIMA (NZ)||Lee & Shannon Hope||Dean Yendall||10.6L||16||57.5kg||$6|
|16||18e||FRANK HEAVENS||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Ronnie Stewart||20.2L||3||57.5kg||$201|
|–||16||HUSSON’S SHOUT||Phillip Stokes||Todd Pannell||–||0||–||–|
|–||10||MALDONADO (NZ)||Robbie Laing||–||–||0||–||–|