Trainer John O’Shea is giving both his runners, Tarquin and Etymology, strong chances in the Group 1 $500,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Tarquin has drawn well at barrier seven with Craig Williams retaining the mount after partnering the three year old at his last two starts for a third to Bengal Cat in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Reef (1600m) at Caulfield on April 16 followed by a win against the older horses in an $80,000 BenchMark 90 Handicap over 2000m at Caulfield on April 30.
O’Shea was impressed with the way Tarquin ran out a strong 2000m and can see him handling the step up to the 2500m of the South Australian Derby.
“I thought Tarquin was very good last start, he was right up on the speed doing plenty of work and still had enough to finish off and win quite impressively against older horses,” O’Shea said.
“His two runs before that were also very good, he’s trained on nicely and he gets out from 2,000m to 2,500m in the Derby which shouldn’t be a problem for him.”
“He seems to have really enjoyed going left handed, so it was a good option to have this race available to him. He’s up against some handy horses, but he definitely looks up to this class.”
Etymology has drawn barrier twelve and will be ridden by Ben Melham, taking over from Williams who was aboard in his last start second to Cool Chap in the Listed $200,000 VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington on April 25.
“They went along at a good clip in that race and he was up there on the speed all the way and still looked the winner at the 300m,” O’Shea said.
“That was at 2,800m, so there’s no concerns about him getting the trip. With the right sort of run he has the class and the ability to be very competitive.”
Etymology will be going around in his third Derby after finishing second to Tarzino in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival and then was fifth to Tavago in the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ on April 2.
Tarquin is the more fancied of the two O’Shea runners in the South Australian Derby market order at Ladbrokes.com.au on the fourth line of betting at $7.50 while Etymology is listed as a $14 chance.
The Mick Kent trained Charlevoix heads the betting at $3.90 ahead of the Darren Weir trained Howard Be Thy Name at $5 and the St Leger winner Cool Chap at $5.50.
South Australian Derby market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.90 Charlevoix, $5 Howard Be Thy Name, $5.50 Cool Chap, $7.50 Tarquin, $12 Arcadia Dream, $14 Etymology, $16 Royal Rumble, $19 Sacred Eye, $26 Rong Door Reggie, Bullish Stock, $34 Mail It In, Manhattan Boss, Ascot Red, $51 First Impressions, $61 Tuff Bickie, Prince Of Pagoda, $101 Dropped.