A perfect ride from Damian Lane on Leicester gave trainer Darren Weir his third successive win in the Group 1 $600,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville today.
Lane had Leicester travelling like the winner a long way from home after positioning him into the one out one back position from the outset from barrier seven in the capacity sixteen horse field.
Lane put Leicester ($4 favourite) to sleep in the early and middle stages before easing him out on the home turn to give the three year old a clear run to the line.
Lane let the gelding stride up to the leaders under his own steam before producing the whip for the run to the line.
Leicester started to move away from his opposition in the shadows of the post to record a one and a half lengths win after being shortly challenged by runner up Rezealient ($21) with the leader Runaway ($13) running a brave race to hold on for third.
Weir was quick to praise the ride of Lane which gave the leading trainer his third South Australian Derby win after collecting the winning trophy with Howard Be Thy Name in 2016 and Volatile Mix last year.
“I was a bit umming and ahhing what to do but got a bit of good advice off of some good people that told me to get in front of a fair few and lob in the box seat and that is what Damian did,” Weir said.
“The run that he had, he needed that run to show that turn of foot. Had he had a tough run I doubt whether he would have been able to run the trip.”
“The way that Damian rode him was just absolutely perfect. Switched him off, got into the right spot and more importantly he didn’t press the button until the last 200m. He could have gone a little bit earlier, but I said to him just ride him to run out the trip and then he showed that good acceleration that he has got.”
“Big pat on the back to Damian.”
Weir also saddled up $31 chance Savaheat who finished twelfth and Civil Disobedience ($14) who beat one runner home to finish fifteenth.
The well tried Chris Waller trained Tangled ($5.50) had a tough run our wide without cover and wound up in fourteenth spot.