Apprentice Jordan Childs hopes his winning streak with Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander continues when he rides Wheal Leisure in the Group 1 $600,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Childs has ridden five winners since April 24, two of them for Alexander, but the jockey – trainer combination has collected seventeen wins so far for the 2016 – 2017 racing season.
The young jockey will be having his first ride in a Group 1 race and hopes he can reward Alexander with a win for sticking with him.
“I’m very excited about riding in the Group One and it’s good that it’s for Archie too because he’s been such a good supporter of mine,” Childs told AAP.
“I reckon he’s a good trainer and obviously he’s got a bit of faith in me.
“We’re having a good run at the moment.
“I go to Ballarat and ride a lot of work for him. And when you do the work it’s good to know the rides are going to keep coming your way.
“Everyone wants to ride in a Group One as an apprentice, and I’ve got this opportunity now towards the end of my apprenticeship. So it’s great.”
Childs will be having his first race ride on Wheal Leisure in the South Australian Derby but went to Ballarat on Tuesday morning to get a feel of the Artie Schiller filly and liked the way she stretched out.
“I went up to Ballarat to give her a final gallop on Tuesday morning and she felt really well so everything is looking good heading into the Derby,” Childs said.
“Her form has been really good throughout this campaign so hopefully she can keep it going on Saturday.”
Wheal Leisure’s latest visit to the winner’s circle was four starts back in a 2040m three year old BenchMark 78 Handicap at Moonee Valley on January 21 and is coming off a last start fifth, with James Doyle in the saddle, to Bonneval in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 8.
Childs will need plenty of luck in the early stages of the race after Wheal Leisure drew barrier seventeen in the original draw but could jump from fourteen if all the emergencies fail to get a run and will be looking to position the filly somewhere around midfield.
“She’s been getting back in her last few races but in an ideal world I’d like to be midfield or just further back than that,” Childs said.
“From barrier 17 it could be a bit tricky but I’ll talk to Archie and the connections and organise what we’re going to do.”
Wheal Leisure is rated as one of the outsiders of the South Australian Derby at $51 with Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra trained Odeon as the $3.30 favourite.
Damien Oliver’s mount Netherfield from the Mick Price stable is also well in contention at $6 just ahead of the Ciaron Maher trained Ruthven at $7.