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West Australian three year old Money Maher will need plenty of luck after drawing a wide barrier in the Group 1 $600,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on Saturday.

The Darren Weir trained Leicester, above, is the favourite for the 2018 South Australian Derby at Morphettville. Photo by Jenny Barnes.

The Darren Weir trained Leicester, above, is the favourite for the 2018 South Australian Derby at Morphettville. Photo by Jenny Barnes.

Marble seventeen came out for Money Maher in the South Australian Derby when the final field of sixteen plus four emergencies was released on Tuesday but the Al Maher colt could jump from gate fourteen with three of the reserves drawing inside of him.

Co-trainer Ben Pearce was disappointed when the double digit number was placed alongside of Money Maher’s name and was hoping for a better draw to give him the opportunity to settle in amongst the capacity field.

“That was pretty disappointing. We were really hoping for a good barrier,” Ben Pearce told The Advertiser.

“It’ll be a matter of getting the right run and getting a good cart into it. If he gets a bit of luck, he might run right into it — but he is going to need luck.”

Perth jockey Jarrad Noske takes the ride again on Money Maher who has won five of his sixteen starts in Western Australia over distances ranging from 1100m to 2200m and Pearce said the colt ruined his chances over 2400m when he failed to settle in the run before finishing fourth in the Group 2 $400,000 W.A.T.C. Derby at Ascot in Perth on April 21.

Pearce, who co-trains with his brother Daniel in Karnup, south of Perth, has removed the blinkers from Money Maher in the hope that he will settle better and give himself the chance to run out the 2500m of the South Australian Derby.

“One of the problems that he has had in the past is over-racing,” Pearce said.

“That’s something we’ve been working on for the past couple of preps.

“We’ve had the blinkers on and off and been playing around with his gear.

“In the Derby over 2400m, he never got covered when he needed it and he got hard on the steel for a good 400m. We all know in those sort of races you need to switch off, you can’t be over-racing.

“We’ve pulled the blinkers off for this run, especially with the barrier. We’ll just be aiming to getting him back in the field and getting him to settle.

“I think that’s the key. If he does settle, I think he’ll run out the 2500m strongly. He’s got the breeding to stay and I think he’s got the temperament to stay, too.”

Money Maher is hovering around the $20 mark for the South Australian Derby with Ladbrokes.com.au while the Darren Weir trained Leicester heads the betting at $3.90 ahead of the Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra trained High ‘N’ Dry and Chris Waller’s Tangled at $6.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.