Co-trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young are hoping third time lucky for Main Stage when he lines up in the Group 1 $600,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Main Stage has finished fifth in both the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival and in the Group 1 $2m Harrolds Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on day one of The Championships and Busuttin is hoping a better barrier draw will give the gelding a good chance to claim a Derby trophy.
Main Stage jumped from barrier thirteen in the Victoria Derby and came out of barrier ten in the Australian Derby but will jump from gate seven in the South Australian Derby if all four emergencies fail to gain a start.
Busuttin said that Main Stage is normally a backmarker but they tried different tactics in the Australian Derby of riding him a bit closer from the wide gate but that plan saw him fade over the concluding stages.
“We just got sick of drawing out and going back so we tried to put him into the race (Australian Derby) but he worked far too hard in the first half of the race,” Busuttin told racing.com.
“He stuck on good and was there until the 200m but the wide run took its toll on him.”
“I think he only needs to replicate his runs in both the Sydney and Victorian Derbies to be in the finish, he ran fifth in both of them off terrible draws and after working hard throughout so if he can run up to that standard I think he can win the race.”
Main Stage has had a barrier trial since his Australian Derby run on April 7 with race day jockey Damien Oliver in the saddle and Busuttin said his work has been good in the lead up to the South Australian Derby.
“He trialled up over 1400m last Monday, Damien Oliver rode him and was very happy with him,” Busuttin said.
“We’ve just ticked him over, he worked up nicely this morning (Tuesday) in his last piece of work with Johnny Vinko and it was work good enough for him to be very competitive on Saturday.”
Busuttin and Young could have two South Australian Derby runners if third emergency Johnny Vinko is lucky enough to gain a late call up.
Dwayne Dunn has been booked to ride Johnny Vinko who has drawn the rails and Busuttin knows that the Savabeel gelding will have no problems running out the 2500m after finishing second at last two starts over 2218m at Geelong and over 2200m at Pakenham.
Main Stage is rated a $14 chance for the South Australian Derby with Ladbrokes.com.au while Johnny Vinko is marked at $26.
The Darren Weir trained Leicester is the firm $3.70 favourite ahead of the Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra trained High ‘N’ Dry at $6 and Chris Waller’s Tangled at $6.50.