Trainer Mick Price is sweating on in-form jockey Damien Oliver to ride Netherfield in the Group 1 $600,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Oliver produced a classic all the way win on the Price trained Secret Agenda in the Group 1 $1m Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville last Saturday and the Caulfield based trainer would love to see the champion jockey on Netherfield this weekend.
“Hopefully Ollie (Damien Oliver) will ride him,’’ Price told RSN’s Racing Pulse.
Oliver was aboard Netherfield when an unlucky fourth last start in the Group 3 $120,000 Chairman’s Stakes (2030m) at Morphettville on April 29 and Price has been happy with the lightly raced three year old’s progress since.
“He’s come through excellent,’’ Price said.
“Jamie Kah rode him on the inside grass on Saturday morning and has done really well.
“I have left him there. He is not a tough Darci Brahma three year old but we think he will get the Derby.
‘I know Jamie Mott thought he was an ideal Derby type horse so I think with blinkers on they made a different horse out of him.”
Jockey Jamie Mott has ridden Netherfield on three occasions for a win in a 1400m Terang Maiden followed by two seconds in two 1600m BenchMark 70 Handicaps at Sandown on March 15 and April 17.
Oliver gave Netherfield the perfect run from barrier one in the Chairman’s Stakes and settled on the fence behind the leading trio but found himself in a terrible pocket on the home turn and in the early stages of the straight and the three year old went to the line virtually unextended to dead heat for fourth behind the Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas trained Waging War.
Even though Netherfield didn’t have a hard hit out in the Chairman’s Stakes, Price is not too concerned and will go through the normal training routine which will include a solid hit out at Morphettville on Tuesday morning.
“I wouldn’t say that he is tough but he is very clean winded and you don’t have to do much with him and that run is a run that is sufficient to have a nice lead up program into the Derby for sure,” Price said.
“He will have a solid Tuesday morning gallop at Morphettville and he will front up in good order.”
Netherfield is well in contention in the betting for the South Australian Derby at $9 with Ladbrokes.com.au behind the $4 favourite Odeon, the Ciaron Maher trained Ruthven at $6 and Darren Weir’s Rockstar Rebel at $8.
Early market order for the South Australian Derby at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Odeon, $6 Ruthven, $8 Rockstar Rebel, $9 Netherfield, Volatile Mix, $11 Grand Chancellor, Waging War, $13 Anaheim, $15 Wu Gok, $17 Lycurgus, $21 Bedford, Savvy Dreams, Tumultuous, $26 or better the rest.