Vlad Duric is the new rider for Order Of The Sun in the Group 1 $500,000 Sportingbet South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Duric replaces the suspended Chad Schofield who partnered the Gai Waterhouse trained three year old to win the Listed $150,000 VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington on Anzac Day.
The in-form Duric will team up again with Waterhouse after the pair combined with smart mare Driefontein to take out the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Classic (1200m) at Morphettville last Saturday.
Schofield was suspended for careless riding in the Group 1 $1m Seven News Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 19 is out of the saddle until May 15.
Waterhouse decided to head to Adelaide with Order Of The Sun after the Encosta De Lago colt scored an all the way win in the St Leger.
“It was a good win in the St Leger and he will go to the Derby,” Waterhouse told AAP.
Schofield agrees with Waterhouse and said that Order Of The Sun would be very competitive in the South Australian Derby after a tough win at Flemington.
“He bowled along and travelled strongly in my hands for me,” Schofield said after the race.
“He never dropped the bridle at any stage, he was tough and strong and fit and he ran his rivals into the ground.
“He was very well prepared for that distance and he’ll be very hard to beat in the Derby.
“I think he does have enough brilliance to match it with the stronger three-year-olds.”
Waterhouse has already tested Order Of The Sun at Group1 level with the three year old running a respectable seventh to Boban in the $500,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 8 followed by a thirteenth to Criterion in the $500,000 TAB.com.au Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 29.
One of Order Of The Sun’s main rivals on Saturday will be the Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas trained Gamblin’ Guru who is also in winning form with victories from his last two starts at Morphettville.
With Jason Holder in the saddle, Gamblin’ Guru has taken out the Listed $80,000 Marsh Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) on April 12 and last Saturday’s Group 3 $115,000 Chairman’s Stakes (2000m).
Holder is confidence that Gamblin’ Guru will handle the extra 500m of the South Australian Derby following his two gutsy wins.
“The key is the horse can stay,’’ Holder told The Advertiser.
“He really just has to put it all together.’’