Oliver claims another Group 1 with Zabeelionaire in SA Derby

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Top jockey Damien Oliver added another Group 1 victory to his long list of feature race wins when he took out the $500,000 Centrebet South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville today on Zabeelionaire.

Oliver was at his vintage best on the Leon Corstens three year old and after settling just worst than midfield was able to secure a rails run in the straight and held off the strong finish of Sabrage to score by half a length.

Zabeelionaire jumped from barrier one and Oliver never left the fence on the Zabeel colt who took his win tally to three from eleven starts and boosted his prizemoney to over $450,000.

Oliver settled Zabeelionaire just behind the Anthony Cummings trained Strike The Stars and when he moved off the fence on the home turn, Oliver sneaked up along the fence and then had a clear run to the line.

Zabeelionaire and Strike The Stars had a tremendous battle in the betting ring and started equal favourites at $4.

After having a good run through the race, Dwayne Dunn eased Strike The Stars off the fence on the home turn and stuck to his guns to wind up in fourth spot.

Mike Moroney was glad to see Sabrage ($21) return to form after struggling at his last few starts and put in a  top class effort after jumping from the outside barrier in the capacity field of twenty.

Corstens has done a terrific job with Zabeelionaire who only won his Geelong Maiden four starts ago on March 29.

He then took the three year old to Caulfield to score easily over 2000m to put the writing on the wall to chase a Derby victory.


About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.


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