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Victoria’s leading horseman Darren Weir is out to emulate the late, great Bart Cummings preparing three straight SA Derby winners this afternoon in Adelaide and the stable has Leicester as their top tip to make history happen.
Cummings prepared a hat-trick of champions in the three-years-old staying feature at Morphettville with Prince Of All, Vacuum and Stormy Rex saluting from 1975-77.
Four decades on and Weir is a chance to emulate the feat having prepared the past two winners with Howard Be Thy Name (2016) and Volatile Mix (2017).
The master trainer scratched the widely-drawn Amerock from the line-up in today’s Group 1 $600,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) due to foot issues but still has a trio of chances in the mix.
Leicester ($4.40), Civil Disobedience ($18) and Savaheat ($26) are the Weir-trained stablemates in the SA Derby field this afternoon.
Heading the contingent and jumping from barrier seven with Damian Lane aboard is easing favourite in South Australian Derby betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, Wanted gelding Leicester.
The galloper has had two lead-up runs in Adelaide when fourth in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) before his impressive Morphettville Parks win in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2035m) on April 28, the same race that produced Weir’s past two SA Derby winners.
While Leicester is yet to race over the Derby distance, Weir’s stable manager Simon McCartin told The Advertiser that the favourite was their “best chance”.
“From what they have done, Leicester would have to be our best chance,” he said on Friday.
“The 2500m might be some query but, on exposed form, he’d have to be our on-top tip.
“We were just weighing up whether to push on with him to the Derby because he’s had a bit of racing but we spoke to the owners and they’ve made the decision to run him.
“He worked well at Burrumbeet on Tuesday morning and, on that work, there’s certainly no reason not to run him.”
Jockey John Allen has ridden both of Weir’s past champions and is also after three on the trot in 2018 jumping aboard Raise The Flag colt Civil Disobedience, who the blinkers come off, from barrier 11.
The galloper won the Listed Tasmanian Derby (2200m) back in February, but has been unplaced in his three subsequent runs including the Port Adelaide Guineas (5th) and Chairman’s (8th).
“We tried the blinkers last start but they worked against him and he raced a bit keen,” McCartin explained.
“Blinkers come off here and we’ll ride him a bit quieter.
“The distance shouldn’t be a problem for him, either.”
As for the team’s roughie hope, Savabeel colt Savaheat ran fifth in the Chairman’s Stakes last time out and has Group 1 winning hoop Dean Yendall coming aboard for the run from barrier one.
“The 2500m will be right in his favour,” McCartin said.
“He should just about peak for this run.
“He’ll probably need to find a few lengths on what he’s done recently but he should get a soft trip from barrier two [into one].”
To back Weir to make history in the South Australian Derby 2018 at the best price head to Ladbrokes.com.au.
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