Peter Moody has confirmed that Crime Fighter will take his place in the 2014 South Australian Derby field and the leading Melbourne trainer is happy with the condition of the gelding ahead of the Group 1 event at Morphettville this afternoon.
Crime Fighter started his autumn campaign with a sixth place finish in Donald on February 21 and found winning form at Moonee Valley, taking out both the City Jeep Compass Handicap (1600m) and Kane Constructions Handicap (2040m), before finishing a fair 11th in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
Moody told Racing Ahead that he considered not sending Crime Fighter to Adelaide because he was concerned about the forecasted wet weather, but is confident that the Street Hero gelding can produce an improved performance on a drier track in the 2014 South Australian Derby this weekend.
“He travelled over last night,” Moody said.
“We were a little reluctant looking at the weather, but have punted that there is not a significant fall and it stays in the dead range or even just into the slow.
“He travelled on a very heavy at Randwick at his last start and I think that the massive drop in grade and the improving surface gives the horse a chance.
“He just struggled to make up ground and it was one of those track that you either did or didn’t handle it.
“He got a couple of significant checks down the back straight in that race and he was further out of his ground then we hoped to be, but his work since has been very good.”
Crime Fighter has generally been ridden as a backmarker during his racing career and he was settled towards the tail of the field by jockey Luke Nolen in the Australian Derby, but Moody is hoping that the three-year-old will be able to take up a more forward position in the 2014 South Australian Derby this weekend.
“I’d like to think that he can hold a mid-field spot and give himself a chance, although he has been strong from the back in his two wins at the Valley,” Moody said.
“If he can be five or six off them instead of 10 to 12, it is certainly going to increase his chances.”
Crime Fighter is currently available at 2014 South Australian Derby odds of $21; with Order Of The Sun ($4.60) an easing favourite from Scratchy Bottom ($5) and Bring Something ($5).