All roads lead to Morphettville this Saturday for the running of the Group 1 South Australian Derby! Can the Western Australian filly She’s Fit upset the boys in the time-honoured event, or will the boom horse Loco get the job done for favourite punters? The Adelaide Guineas also features what promises to be a stunning afternoon of Group racing.
Shirshov is flying this campaign! The Exosphere gelding has put three consecutive victories together, and he looks well placed to continue on his winning ways. He will roll forward to control the tempo, and if he doesn’t spend his pennies early, he will prove hard to run down. Barrier fourteen may decide his fate during the early stages of the race.
Queman will start favourite after an ultra-consistent campaign. The Mint Lane gelding boasts form around some serious gallopers this preparation, and he will appreciate the significant drop in grade on Saturday. From barrier four, Justin Potter has options; if he is presented at the right time, he could prove too strong late. I am concerned this race could be an afterthought.
Hongbao looks dangerous jumping from the perfect inside draw. The Sooboog gelding carried the grandstand to victory last start at Murray Bridge, and I suspect he will appreciate the 10kg drop in allocated weight. The 1100m will suit him at this stage of his preparation, and I expect him to figure in the finish if he finds clear air on straightening. The jump in class is his biggest test.
Suggested Bet: Shirshov @ $5.00
Morphettville Race 7
#16 She's Fit
She’s Fit could be special. The Western Australian filly is looking to steal the time-honoured prize from the boys, and she seems poised to strike after an eye-catching second in the Australian Oaks. The Pride Of Dubai filly is rock-hard fit, and her career record at the top level is astonishing. If she can overcome the tricky barrier draw, I expect her to be savaging the line late.
High Approach looks over the odds. The Highland Reel gelding was impressive in the ATC Derby, and the step out to 2500m is ideal. From barrier five, John Allen can have the big boy midfield with cover, and if he is presented at the right time, he can figure. His winning record is the primary concern.
Loco has been shafted by the barrier draw. The So You Think gelding was solid over 2000m at his Adelaide debut, and he is now ready for the long trip. There is a boom around this horse; if he can find cover when the barriers open, he is a winning chance. His fate may be sealed after the first furlong.
Suggested Bet: She’s Fit @ $4.60
Morphettville Race 8
#10 Party Princess
Party Princess will have supporters after a successful campaign. The drop back to 1600m is advantageous, and her price will reduce significantly if the soft track deteriorates. Jason ‘Stubby’ Holder will look for a midfield position in the running line, and if she doesn’t see too much of the way early, she is a winning hope.
Star Vega has been heavily supported in early betting. The Lope De Vega gelding has been impressive at both career starts, and he looks well placed jumping from a middle gate. He can stalk the speed throughout, and if the leaders go for home too early, he could be Johnny on the spot.
Pearl Adios is a must for broader multiples and exotics. The Rebel Raider gelding has won over the journey previously, and he should get the run of the race jumping from barrier two. He is in career-best form, and his peak performance for the preparation is just around the corner. He is too consistent to dismiss!
Suggested Bet: Party Princess @ $3.00
Morphettville Race 9
#6 Lady Simone
Lady Simone can win here, resuming. Her spring form was rock-solid, and her recent jumpout tells me she is ready to fire first-up from a spell. The apprentice claim is advantageous; she can take up the running with a clean break from the barriers. Her best form reads exceptionally well for this event, and I expect her to go through her grades during the winter months.
Rotokura will have fans after recording back-to-back victories. The Cable Bay gelding hasn’t missed the quinella at his previous six outings, and he is drawn to get the run for the race from barrier three. The Robbie Griffiths-trained four-year-old has been well-supported since markets opened, and I won’t be surprised to see him start outright favourite. The length of his campaign is unconventional.
Demon Blood has been stiff and luckless this campaign! He has been caught wide in transit and blocked for a run at a crucial stage. The Star Turn gelding can bounce back, dropping down in grade, and I expect the 1050m will suit him perfectly at this stage of his preparation. Barrier sixteen and his winning record are among the primary concerns.
Suggested Bet: Lady Simone @ $7.50