Trainer Leon Macdonald will launch a two-pronged attack in Saturday’s Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m), but rates classy three-year-old Royal Rumble as his best chance of success in the feature race at Morphettville.
Royal Rumble has returned to racing in particularly smart form this time; finishing outside the first three only once in eight starts since a strong performance for second in the Medallion Homes BM70 (1200m) on Boxing Day.
Having placed a commendable fourth in the Vobis Gold Reef (1600m) at Caulfield on April 16th before savaging the line for second in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2020m) a fortnight ago, Macdonald told Racing Ahead he is pleased with the conditions of both runners, but believes Royal Rumble will figure as a slightly better chance of winning the SA Derby than stable mate Mail It In.
“They have both drawn well and it will help a lot because if there’s a doubt about them, it’s getting the 2500m the way they’re bred,” Macdonald said.
“They’ve both been very consistent horses in Adelaide, and Royal Rumble ran very well in a mile race at Caulfield three or four weeks ago.
“Royal Rumble was very strong at the end of 2000m behind Howard Be Thy Name a fortnight ago and with a nice, easy run in the race I think he’s probably the better of the two.”
Macdonald was impressed by the performance for success in the Listed Galilee Series Final (2400m) mustered by Charlevoix last start, and believes the Mick Kent-trained colt is the horse to beat in the 2016 South Australian Derby.
“I think probably Mick Kent’s horse is the one to beat on his run in the Galilee Final, I thought he looked really impressive in that,” he said.
“I think both my horses have a job ahead of them, but they’re there, they’re well drawn and they’re fit, so you can’t ask for a lot more. We’ll go and do our best.”
Mail It In has posted a commendable two wins and eight minors through fifteen career starts, since first appearing on course competitively in May last year.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2016 South Australian Derby odds, for which Royal Rumble can be taken at a quote of $18 for success, while Mail It In is rated a long-odds chance at $34.