Trainer David Hayes believes that Honey Steel’s Gold will produce an improved performance in the 2014 South Australian Derby at Morphettville on Saturday and does not believe the Group 1 event will be a one horse affair.
Order Of The Sun stamped himself as the clear favourite for the South Australian Derby with a dominant seven lengths win over Honey Steels’ Gold in the Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington on ANZAC Day, but Hayes does not believe the Gai Waterhouse-trained galloper is a sure thing this weekend.
“I think that a couple of hundred metres less will be better for Honey,” Hayes said.
“He had a beautiful run with Craig Williams on board last start, but I think with the tempo of the mile and a half he will be more relaxed.
“If it does happen to get the rain that is forecast then he will be an even better chance because he does handle the wet.
“I don’t think that it is a one horse race like the market is suggesting.”
Hayes also has Surging Wave in the 2014 South Australian Derby field and the veteran trainer feels that the Encosta De Lago gelding can return to his best form on a firmer track at Morphettville tomorrow.
Surging Wave started his autumn racing campaign with two lackluster performances at Sandown on March 5 and March 19, but relished the step-up to 2025 metres in the Procon Developments Handicap (2025m) at Cranbourne on April 4 before finishing a fair tenth behind Criterion on an extremely heavy track in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
“He is coming back from Sydney form and that is the hardest,” Hayes said.
“He hated the sloppy really heavy track in Sydney, but I do think that he will be fine on a slow track.
“He is a good long shot chance.”
Honey Steel’s Gold is currently available at 2014 South Australian Derby odds of $18, while Surging Wave is available at the lucrative quote of $41; with Order Of The Sun a steady favourite at $4.
Hayes is chasing his second win in the South Australian Derby after taking out the 2007 edition of the race with Lazer Sharp and finishing second with Zagreb in 2008 and Classic De Lago in 2007.