Godolphin’s three year olds Tarquin and Unbreakable are both on track to run in the Group 1 $500,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 14 after wins at Caulfield last Saturday.
Top Melbourne jockey Craig Williams was aboard both John O’Shea trained Derby aspirants and gave them both glowing reports heading towards the South Australian Classic.
Tarquin was able to beat the older horses in the $80,000 Next Payments BenchMark 90 Handicap over 2000m and after sitting just off the pace in the early and middle, Williams let the gelding stride around the leaders on the home turn before going on the score a one and three quarter lengths wins.
“He had to do a bit of work, so he’s done a really good job to beat those older horses,” Williams said.
The later in the day Williams let Unbreakable stride to the front at the 1200m and from that point the three year old dictated the race and was never headed before recording a two and half lengths win in the $80,000 Sky High Mt Dandenong Handicap (1800m) against his own age.
“I was told to take the bull by the horns if I had to, and that’s what we did,” Williams said.
“That was a very good Derby trial, he simply outstayed them.”
Tarquin has struck form at the right time with two wins and a third from his last three starts.
The Hard Spun gelding scored a narrow win in a 1500m three year old Stakes at Mornington on April 2 before running third behind Bengal Cat and Unbreakable in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Reef (1600m) at Caulfield on April 16 prior to his last start Caulfield win.
Unbreakable has also been working his way up through the classes with a win four starts back in a 1400m BenchMark 70 Handicap at Pakenham on March 10 before finishing sixth to Tarquin at Mornington.
At his next start he was able to turn the tables on Tarquin when second in the VOBIS Gold Reef before winning at Caulfield last Saturday.
O’Shea has also nominated Etymology for the South Australian Derby and the New Approach colt will also have strong claims after running second to Cool Chap in the Listed $200,000 VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington on Anzac Day.
Etymology has already contested two Derbies, running second to Tarzino in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during last year’s Melbourne Spring Carnival and then during the Sydney Autumn Carnival finished fifth to Tavago in the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ on April 2.
Thirty-six three year olds have been nominated for the South Australian Derby with the final acceptances to be taken on Tuesday, May 10.