Kiwi three year old Werther will have no trouble handling the extra distance as he steps up to the 2500m for the first time in the Group 1 $500,000 William Hill South Australian Derby at Morphettville on Saturday.
Opaki trainer Andrew Campbell made the decision to bring Werther to Adelaide after he won the Group 2 NZ$100,000 Valachi Downs Championship Stakes (2100m) at Ellerslie on April 18 and can’t see the extra 400m as being a problem.
“We had two races in mind — the Queensland Derby or Adelaide,” Campbell told The Advertiser.
“He’s been up a while so we thought we’d try a hit-and-run mission to Adelaide. It’s good money.”
“As far as staying 2500m, I’ve got no concerns at all. He’s out of a Zabeel mare, too.”
Campbell had been hoping to see Werther settle just off the pace behind the leading division but jockey Noel Callow has the job ahead of him after the Tavistock three year old was handed the visitor’s drew of eighteen in the sixteen horse field plus four emergencies.
“We like to get him just behind the pace in his races,” Campbell said.
“Earlier in his career we tried to settle him back and let him run on — but he likes to be in the fight.
“He’s got a really good turn of foot, so hopefully he can be close enough on the turn and have a good go at them in the last 200m.”
And Campbell was also hoping for a dry surface but could be out of luck there as well with showers forecast for Adelaide leading into the weekend.
Even though Werther won on a heavy 8 at Ellerslie, the Opaki trainer believes he is a better horse on top of the ground.
“He beat a reasonably good field that day,” Campbell said.
“We didn’t think the wet track at Ellerslie would suit him but he seemed to get through it OK.
“The wet is not to his liking. He’s such a big striding horse. He likes the good tracks.”
Western Australian filly Delicacy has been installed the $3.20 favourite for the South Australian Derby with Ladbrokes.com.au with Campbell agreeing that she will be the hardest to beat after the way she took care of the fillies in winning the Group 1 $400,000 Schweppes Oaks (registered as Australasian Oaks) (2000m) at Morphettville last Saturday.
“She looks like she’s next to a good thing,” Campbell said.
“The way she won on Saturday, she’s going to take a hell of a lot of beating. But, anyway, we’re here to have a go.”
Chairman’s Stakes winner October Date and Manapine share the second line of betting at $5 ahead of Magicool at $8.50 while Werther is rated as a $12 chance.
South Australian Derby market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.20 Delicacy. $5.50 October Date, Manapine, $8.50 Magicool, $12 Werther, $13 All I Survey, $15 Allergic, Gifted Lad, $19 Boom Time, Cuban Fighter, $21 Maysoor, Crimson Cape, $26 Turbo Street, $31 Triple Gold, $34 Thermogenic, $41 Chu Chu Charlie, $51 Lucques, Time Walker, Grumpy Guru, $61 Light Motion.