Phillip Stokes’ Sir John Monash Stakes winning...
Premier Victorian trainer Darren Weir emulated the legendary Bart Cummings celebrating a third straight win in the 2018 South Australian Derby with race favourite Leicester saluting at Morphettville.
Cummings prepared a trio of SA Derby champions with Prince Of All, Vacuum and Storm Rex from 1975-77.
Just over 40 years on and Weir repeated the feat with Leicester saluting in the Group 1 $600,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) following on from the stable’s previous wins with Howard Be Thy Name (2016) and Volatile Mix (2017).
“It doesn’t get much better than that,” Weir said after the race.
The second in as many years to do the Chairman’s Stakes – SA Derby double, Wanted gelding Leicester put any doubts to bed about his ability to stay handling the rise from 2035m to 2500m thanks partly to a dream run throughout.
“The run that he had…he needed that run to show that turn of foot,” Weir said.
Ace interstate hoop Damian Lane retained the ride on Leicester having guided him to the lead-up win at Morphettville Parks in the Group 3 a fortnight back and handed Weir with a ninth Group 1 success for the 2017-18 Australian racing season.
“The way Damian rode him was absolutely perfect,” Weir added.
“He switched him off, got into the right spot…and didn’t press the button until the last 200m.
“I told him to just ride him to run the trip.”
Lane had Leicester right up there early as the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained VRC St Leger winner Runaway hit the front and led the field around.
As expected Runaway set the pace, while the favourite was given every chance from the get go travelling fourth the outside, one out one back in the perfect position in transit.
Runaway was first into the home straight, Leicester deeper out and the Lindsay Park-trained roughie hope Rezealient ($21) on the back of a VRC St. Leger second putting in a big late run.
Once on the straight Leicester moved up to Runaway and took the lead 70m out from the line, the top fancy with plenty in the tank off the easy run to defeat Rezealient by a length and a quarter.
Runaway ($13) held for third to round out the SA Derby trifecta, while trainer Travis Doudle’s $151 roughie and eleventh hour call-up following the scratching of Amerock, Tropical Lightning, ran out of his skin to cross just two lengths back fourth.
“He presented in great order today,” Lane said of the winner.
“I think the genuine temp really helped this horse.
“I had the lovely advantage of just being able to pop out and come into the race when I wanted to.
“When I started to see the red tape on the 100 [metres] I thought it’s always hard to run one of Weiry’s down from here.”
Leicester is now a chance to head to Brisbane on June 9 for a shot at the Group 1 $600,000 Queensland Derby (2200m) at Doomben Racecourse, the SA Derby winner at $13 in the latest all-in markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2018 South Australian Derby Results & Finishing Order
Morphettville Race 7 – 12/05/2018
|1||3||LEICESTER||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||–||7||56.5kg||$4F|
|2||10||REZEALIENT||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Jamie Kah||1.4L||4||56.5kg||$21|
|3||7||RUNAWAY||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Stephen Baster||2.1L||12||56.5kg||$13|
|4||17e||TROPICAL LIGHTNING||Travis Doudle||Todd Pannell||2.1L||5||56.5kg||$151|
|5||8||WON WON TOO (NZ)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Jordan Childs||2.9L||3||56.5kg||$51|
|6||13||HIGH ’N’ DRY||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Andrew Mallyon||4.1L||16||56.5kg||$6|
|7||12||INTO RIO (NZ)||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damien Thornton||4.7L||6||56.5kg||$51|
|7||2||MONEY MAHER||Daniel & Ben Pearce||Jarrad Noske||4.7L||15||56.5kg||$31|
|9||5||MAIN STAGE (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Damien Oliver||4.9L||8||56.5kg||$8|
|10||6||HIGH SHERRIF (NZ)||Roger James||Leith Innes||5L||10||56.5kg||$9|
|11||15||NOTHIN’ LEICA HIGH||Robbie Griffiths||Dom Tourneur||6.3L||9||56.5kg||$61|
|12||9||SAVAHEAT (NZ)||Darren Weir||Dean Yendall||7.6L||1||56.5kg||$31|
|13||16||BOX ON COLLINS||Tony McEvoy||Luke Currie||8.9L||14||56.5kg||$61|
|14||1||TANGLED||Chris Waller||Michael Walker||9L||13||56.5kg||$5.50|
|15||4||CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE (NZ)||Darren Weir||John Allen||9.1L||11||56.5kg||$14|
|16||11||SILENT COMMAND||Nick Smart||Shayne Cahill||13.1L||2||56.5kg||$101|
|–||19e||JOHNNY VINKO (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Dwayne Dunn||–||0||–||–|
|–||20e||CREEDENCE||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||14||AMEROCK||Darren Weir||Harry Coffey||–||0||–||–|
|–||18e||DELOS (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||–||–||0||–||–|
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