In form three year old Howard Be Thy Name made it four straight wins with a hard fought victory in the Group 1 $500,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville today.
Ridden by Irish jumps jockey John Allen, Howard Be Thy Name ($5) surged to a half length win over the John O’Shea trained Etymology ($16) with Cool Chap ($7) from the Lee and Anthony Freedman stable in third spot.
The Mick Kent trained Charlevoix was sent out as the $4 favourite and ran an honest race to wind up in fifth spot, four and three quarter lengths behind the winner.
Allen settled Howard Be Thy Name midfield and brought him with a well-timed run to collar Etymology who had raced on the pace in a slowly run South Australian Derby.
Trainer Darren Weir’s stable representative Jarrod McLean said that Howard Be Thy Name would now be sent to Brisbane for the Group 1 $600,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
“Weiry (Darren Weir) said that he will be straight on a plane up to Brisbane and we will have a crack at the Derby up there,” McLean said.
Howard Be Thy Name has been undefeated since running second in the Listed $100,000 Schweppes Tasmanian Derby (2200m) at Hobart on February 5.
The Redoute’s Choice colt then went on to win a 1600m BenchMark 70 Handicap at Pakenham, followed by a win in the Listed $100,000 Marsh Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) and a win in the Group 3 $120,000 Chairman’s Stakes (2020m) both at Morphettville before today’s Derby win.
McLean said that the trip to Tasmania was the making of Howard Be Thy Name and he has improved out of sight since returning to the stable’s Warrnambool base.
“He lives with us down in Warrnambool. It took him a long time to win his maiden and he went away to Tasmania and he has just come back a great horse,” McLean said.
“This horse has really improved since then and a great result today to get a Group 1 and great for Johnny Allen to be rewarded for his hard work.”