Trainer Leon Macdonald believes that the in-form Gamblin’ Guru will be tough to beat in the 2014 South Australian Derby at Morphettville on Saturday, if he receives a bit of luck from the outside barrier in the Group 1 event.
Gamblin’ Guru stamped himself as a leading South Australian Derby contender with back-to-back wins in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) at Morphettville on April 12 and the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2000m) a fortnight later, but his task in the Group 1 event was made tougher after he drew barrier 19 in the South Australian Derby barrier draw.
Macdonald told Racing Ahead this morning that he expects jockey Jason Holder to settle Gamblin’ Guru towards the tail of the field and is hopeful that the New Approach gelding has the talent to overcome the wide draw tomorrow.
“He is really good and he pulled up well from it,” Macdonald said of Gamblin’ Guru’s win in the Chairman’s Stakes.
“I thought that he ran extremely well; he was left in front probably too soon and he fought it out all the way to the line.
“With a bit more cover, I think that he will be really hard to beat.
“We will be going back a bit to get some cover.
“We won’t be flying in from the outside gate otherwise he would over raced, so we will be going back and hopefully get a bit of luck in the run.”
Gamblin’ Guru is currently on the fourth line of 2014 South Australian Derby betting markets at odds of $9; with Gai Waterhouse-trained Order Of The Sun ($4) a narrow favourite from Bring Something ($4.80) and Scratchy Bottom ($7).
Macdonald believes that Order Of The Sun is the horse to beat in the South Australian Derby after his dominant win in the Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington on ANZAC Day, but is not discounting Scratchy Bottom who flashed home late to finish third in the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville last weekend.
“Probably Gai’s horse (Order Of The Sun); I thought that it was very good in the St. Leger,” Macdonald said when asked who was the biggest threat to Gamblin’ Guru.
“I think that is probably the main danger and probably Scratchy Bottom too.”
Macdonald is chasing his third win in the South Australian Derby after previously winning the race with French Cotton in 1986 and Rebel Raider in 2009.