Leading Sydney trainer Anthony Cummings has both Best Case and Surge Ahead in the 2014 South Australian Derby and he is expecting them both to be competitive in the Group 1 event at Morphettville on Saturday.
Best Case performed fairly without winning during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and Cummings told Sky Racing HQ that the Savabeel gelding had taken plenty of benefit out of his eighth place finish in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 12 and was going into the South Australian Derby in excellent condition.
“His run was very good in the Derby here and he has done very well since,” Cummings said.
“He got there on a fairly light preparation and the very heavy track was just a little too tough for him, but even in saying that he kept on making ground all the way to the line.
“He surprised us that day by being able to settle as close to the speed as he did, there was plenty of merit in his and he will certainly improve off that.
“He has drawn a decent gate, gets the right run and he is going to be very competitive I reckon.”
Surge Ahead raced well in three starts during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing, highlighted by a third place finish in the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley on March 14, and was competitive in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 29, but beat home just a single runner in the Australian Derby.
Cummings said that the Danehill Dancer gelding clearly did not relish the wet ground in the Australian Derby and is hoping that the three-year-old will produce an improved performance on what he hopes is a dry track in the 2014 South Australian Derby this weekend.
“The horse has done very well,” Cummings said.
“His Melbourne form is excellent and he found two tracks in Sydney here that he didn’t go well on.
“He his work has been very good and he is certainly there to be competitive, but he is more sensitive to a wet track than Best Case is.”
Order Of The Sun ($4) is currently on top of South Australian Derby betting, while Best Case is available at a quote of $10 and Surge Ahead priced at South Australian Derby odds of $26.