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It has been six months between wins for the Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young-trained Anaheim but the team are keen to “have a crack” at ending the drought in Saturday’s 2017 South Australian Derby.
Set to run as Morphettville Race 7, this season’s $600,000 Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) has attracted a full field of autumn three-year-old stayers.
Drawn in barrier 14, which will become 11 with the emergencies out, is Fastnet Rock colt Anaheim.
His latest victory was a black-type over 1800m at Flemington last Crown Oaks Day, after the galloper missed out on a start in the Victoria Derby field a few days earlier.
Co-trainer Busuttin is hopeful the galloper can return to form on the weekend after Anaheim pleased in a track gallop on Tuesday ridden by Young.
“He worked up excellent. Natalie galloped him, and she was pleased with him so we’re going to press on and have a crack at it,” Busuttin told Racing Pulse.
This season Anaheim has put in a number of promising performances in elite company, including being defeated under two lengths when fifth to Hey Doc in Flemington’s Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) in early March.
A fourth to the Kiwi Gingernuts in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) followed before his ninth to another New Zealand raider Jon Snow in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m).
In a final SA Derby lead-up, Anaheim finished a mid-field sixth to Odeon at Caulfield on April 29 in a Benchmark 84 over 2000m.
“He had every opportunity [last-start at Caulfield]; he was on the winner’s back the whole way, and was just disappointing,” Busuttin admitted.
“Whether or not those runs on the Heavy tracks had taken something out of the horse … it appeared that way after the race, he rode a bit flat. Stephen Baster was a bit more forgiving of the horse, felt it was alright, and just said it could’ve been the tricky Caulfield track which trips some horses up.
“Today was the telling point, we galloped him up, he had a good strong gallop to find out a few questions, and he answered those, he galloped up super. Felt good, pulled up good, good recovery rate so we’ll press on.”
That form is tipped to hold up in Morphettville over the 2500m as the Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained winner Odeon leads current SA Derby betting markets, and Busuttin concedes that horse looks hard to beat.
“Odeon looks the one to beat for mine, so we’ve got a few lengths to turn around on him, but hopefully we can,” he said.
“It’s good stake money, it’s a Group 1 race, they’re only three once and he’ll be out in the paddock, so we hope he can turn that early form around.”
Jockey Ben Melham rode Anaheim to victory during the Melbourne Cup Carnival and jumps aboard this weekend for the first time since chasing his third South Australian Derby success.
Melham’s previous winning rides in the Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival feature were on Shadows In The Sun (2011) and Escado (2013) who were both roughie shots in betting paying $21 and $13 respectively.
To back your favourites in the SA Derby 2017 at the right price head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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