2017 South Australian Derby Day Preview & Tips

By: Jared Timms
May 11th, 2017

2017 South Australian Derby Day at Morphettville on Saturday boasts an outstanding eight race card, highlighted by the Group 1 feature race for three-year-old stayers, contested over the 2500m course.

Odeon is favourite to win Saturday's Group 1 SA Derby at Morphettville. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Odeon is favourite to win Saturday’s Group 1 SA Derby at Morphettville. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Capacity and talent-rich fields and emergencies have been confirmed for nearly every race on South Australian Derby Day, however we have analysed every runner in detail, in order to help you find a winner.

The South Australian Derby Day action will get underway with the running of the Autumn Series Final (1400m) at 12:35pm and will conclude after the Provincial Super Series Final (1800m) is contested at 5pm.

Race 1 (12:35pm) #SeeSouthAustralia Autumn Series Final (1400m)

A talented and capacity field of fourteen plus six emergencies has been confirmed for Race 1 on SA Derby Day. Act Of Valour (barrier 14) has returned to racing in excellent condition this time, but will require some early luck from his awkward draw, particularly with topweight. See Me Rollin’ (barrier 5) and Sacred Seal (barrier 4) have also both found excellent form of late and are drawn to perform from inside draws, while Molly The Snip (barrier 8) faces a step-up in class, but carries winning form into the race. Beluga Blue (barrier 10) is probably unlucky not to have gained an automatic start and is more than capable of winning the Autumn Series Final if she gains entry.

Tip: No. 1 Act Of Valour ($3.60)

Race 2 (1:10pm) Group 3 SA Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m)

Thirteen two-year-olds will contest the day’s first black type race and Tony McEvoy has dominated the field with three entries. Indernile (barrier 10) returned to the races with a smart performance for fourth in the Listed Thoroughbred Club Cup (1200m) a fortnight ago and is sure to have taken benefit from the run. The one-time leading Blue Diamond prospect should find a good position off the early pace from barrier 10 and could very well have found his ideal race. The Darren Weir-trained Snitzepeg (barrier 1), Will’s Bid (barrier 5) and classy local Broadband (barrier 4) are in in good form and are live chances of winning the SA Sires’ Produce Stakes.

Tip: No. 5 Snitzpeg ($5)

Race 3 (1:50pm) MAC Drink Driving? Grow Up Handicap (1050m)

A capacity field of eighteen three-year-olds has been confirmed for Race 3 on South Australian Derby Day and it is a particularly open affair from a betting perspective. Samara Dancer (barrier 15) will make her competitive return in the race and has the notable advantage of Craig Williams in the saddle, but will require plenty of early luck from a wide draw and may need the run. Mulder (barrier 4) could very well receive the run of the race and is seeking a third-consecutive race win, albeit in far-better company this time around. Victorian raider Peal Congenial (barrier 10) has steadily built to the task through two starts this time and appears as though she is ready to peak, while the locally-trained Show Bender (barrier 3) should prove extremely tough to beat in current form.

Tip: No. 13 Show Bender – Each Way ($26/$7.70)

Race 4 (2:30pm) SA Sprint Series Final (1100m)

It is another capacity and classy field of twenty confirmed for Race 4 at Morphettville on Saturday and there is a case to be made for half the field. Fine Mist (barrier 6) is drawn ideally and enters the race off the back of a terrific win at Morphettville a fortnight ago, but she gives up to 5kgs in weight to some of her close rivals. Streetcar Illusion (barrier 23) may have to spend too much early to be right in the finish of this race, as could be the base for Rosie Louise (barrier 22), who has reportedly taken plenty of benefit from a first-up third in the Western Front 1917 BM60 (1006m) on April 25th. Municipality (barrier 19) can probably be forgiven for his last-start flop, but has again drawn awkwardly into the SA Sprint Series Final field.

Tip: No. 1 Bay Road – Each Way ($6/$2.65)

Race 5 (3:10pm) SouthAustralia.com Handicap (1200m)

Several notable horses will line up in Race 5 at Morphettville on Saturday, including Heart Starter (barrier 11). A former Perth galloper, Heart Starter has been transferred to the care of Darren Weir this season and is sure to have taken benefit from a first-up run for sixth in the Listed Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1440m) at Caulfield a fortnight ago. Weir is well represented in the race after also confirming positions in the field for live chances Broadway And First (barrier 8) and Camdus (barrier 13). Mio Dio (barrier 4) found excellent form during his most-recent preparation and is capable of a strong first-up performance. Last-start hoop Jamie Kah retains the ride on the God’s Own gelding and the horse should be right in the finish from an ideal draw.

Tip: No. 2 Heart Starter – Each Way ($12/$4)

Race 6 (3:50pm) Listed Adelaide Guineas (1600m)

A capacity field of eighteen three-year-olds will trade blows in the Listed Adelaide Guineas and we are set for an exciting edition of the black type feature. Fox Hall (barrier 13) ran on to win the Listed Nitschke Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago, but has drawn awkwardly into this field, while local stable mates So You Too (barrier 22) and Wasabi Bob (barrier 10) have both found terrific form, but have also been dealt blows in their barriers. Soju Warrior (barrier 2) has been a strong and consistent performer this season and could receive the run of the race from and inside draw, while the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Petition (barrier 14) is racing for a hat-trick of wins and has the notable advantage of Craig Williams in the saddle.

Tip: No. 11 Petition ($2.15)

Race 7 (4:25pm) Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m)

Some of the country’s brightest three-year-olds will take to the barriers for the Group 1 South Australian Derby, including race favourite Odeon (barrier 5). Odeon placed second in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) on April 8th and was last seen winning a Caulfield minor over 2000m a fortnight ago. Ruthven (barrier 18) is a proven performer at the class and distance, but he may be required to do too much early from a wide draw. Anaheim (barrier 14) has also performed well at Group 1 level this time and is probably faced with his best chance of winning in this field, while Dornier (barrier 8) and Lycurgus (barrier 6) would not look out of place winning the South Australian Derby at good odds. Volatile Mix (barrier 16) is in the right form to deliver Darren Weir a second-consecutive SA Derby crown.

Tip: No. 4 Anaheim – Each Way ($11/$3.90)

Race 8 (5:00pm) Provincial Super Series Final (1800m) 

2017 South Australian Derby Day will draw to a close with the running of the Provincial Super Series Final. Trainer Shane Oxlade is saddling several good chances on Saturday and is perhaps best represented by Nullabor Pete (barrier 24), who is a live chance of winning this race if he can overcome the outside barrier. Tsaritsyn (barrier 12) is a proven first-up performer and should have no issue carrying only 54.5kgs, while topweight Emmooki’s Dash (barrier 5) and the consistent Lieder (barrier 15) are not without their chances.

Tip: No. 2 Lieder ($3.20)

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