In-form three year old Howard Be Thy Name is in top order heading towards the Group 1 $500,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Howard Be Thy Name is the winner of his last three starts and premiership winning trainer Darren Weir can’t fault his condition as he prepares for this weekend’s staying contest.
“I am really pleased with the way the horse has been running,” Weir told racing.com.
“He is in really good shape. Whether he is good enough I am not sure, but I am sure he going to run really well.”
Howard Be Thy Name kicked off his latest winning run in a 1600m BenchMark 70 Handicap at Pakenham on March 31 before Weir took him to Adelaide to win the Listed $100,000 Marsh Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) at Morphettville on April 16.
The Redoute’s Choice colt then returned to Morphettville from his Wangoon base near Warrnambool two weeks later to win the Group 3 $120,000 Chairman’s Stakes (2020m).
Weir said that Howard Be Thy Name has handled the travelling very well and the colt has trained on in fine style.
“He is in great order. He had his last bit of fast work at the sand dunes this morning and Jarred, the foreman who runs the stable down there (Wangoon) said that he felt great so looking forward to Saturday.”
“Our horse is in really good form and the two trips to Adelaide has been really good for him because he is a big heavy horse.”
The two main dangers to Howard Be Thy Name are the Mick Kent trained Charlevoix and Cool Chap from the Lee and Anthony Freedman stable and both three year olds are also racing in top form with both winning at their last starts.
Charlevoix heads the market order for the South Australian Derby at $3.80 at Ladbrokes.com.au on the strength of his last start win in the Listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Galilee Series Final (2400m) at Sandown on April 9.
While Cool Chap shares the second line of betting at $5.50 with Howard Be Thy Name and is coming off a two and a quarter lengths win in the Listed $200,000 VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington on April 25.
Weir said that it was hard to line up the Adelaide form with the three year old Melbourne form but knows they will be hard to beat.
“I am not sure how to really line it up but obviously their form is really good,” Weir good.
“I have watched those two horses race and they are obviously really good staying horses and trained by good trainers so they are going to be really hard to beat.”
John Allen is back aboard Howard Be Thy Name after riding him to victory in the Port Adelaide Guineas and is replacing Brad Rawiller who was aboard for his Chairman’s Stakes win.
While Allen is certain to give Howard Be Thy Name a cosy run from barrier six, Daniel Moor will need plenty of luck in the early and middle stages on Cool Chap who will jump from the outside of the sixteen horse field.
And Mark Zahra will also be trying to find some cover in the early stages on Charlevoix who looks likely to jump from gate ten if the one emergency, Dropped, fails to gain a start.
South Australian Derby market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.80 Charlevoix, $5.50 Howard Be Thy Name, Cool Chap, $7 Tarquin, $10 Arcadia Dream, $15 Etymology, $17 Sacred Eye, $18 Royal Rumble, $26 Bullish Stock, $34 Manhattan Boss, Mail It In, Rong Door Reggie, Ascot Red, $41 First Impressions, $61 Tuff Bickie, $67 Prince Of Pagoda, $126 Dropped.