Richard Jolly is confident that his three year old Hioctdane will run out a strong 2500m in the this week’s Group 1 $500,000 Centrebet South Australian Derby at Morphettville after scoring a runaway win last Saturday.
Hioctdane surprised Jolly with the ease of the promising stayers four and a quarter lengths win over Pharomac in the Group 3 $115,000 Chairman’s Veolia Stakes (2000m) at Morphettville and declared that the Strada gelding is only going to better.
“He’s just kept improving, we’ve built him up slowly, so next week he’ll be even better,” Jolly said.
Jolly orchestrated a plan for this week’s Derby after Hioctdane won the Listed $80,000 Hill Smith Stakes (1800m) at Morphettville in October last year and now has the in-form gelding in peak condition heading into the three year classic on his home track.
“He was cherry ripe, there’s always queries on them running out the distance strong, but he was really impressive,” Jolly said.
“He did a bit of work early, he was out very wide – he didn’t have the best run in the race – but he just rounded them up and won easily.”
“The preparation revolved around the Chairman’s and next week, so we’re rapt with him. I was surprised, I didn’t think he’d win like that.”
Hioctdane was having his fourth run back from a spell and showed Jolly he is on track to run out a solid 2500m after being so strong at the end of the 2000m.
The top Morphettville trainer resisted temptations to go to Melbourne for the Spring after Hioctdane won the Listed $80,000 Hill Smith Stakes (1800m) at Morphettville in October and is glad he choose this plan which could give him a home town Group 1 victory.
“He was always a bit immature, there were thoughts of going to Melbourne after he won the Hill Smith but I knew he was at the end of it,” Jolly said.
Hioctdane is by the Danehill stallion Strada and all the signs are there that he will run the distance being out of the Octagonal mare Autobahn.
The South Australian Derby is shaping as a good contest with the Gai Waterhouse trained Hippopus and the Victorian three year old Hvasstan both heading to Morphettville on Saturday.
Waterhouse elected to go to Melbourne with Hippopus after running fifth to It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 $1.5m David Jones Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 13 and picked up the spoils in the Listed $150,000 VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington on Anzac Day.
While Peter Gelagotis elected to go straight to Morphettvile without another run after finishing sixth in the Australian Derby.