Volatile Mix has produced a big turn of foot in the final straight at Morphettville to run out the 2017 South Australian Derby winner; handing master trainer Darren Weir a second-consecutive win in the Group 1 feature race.
The Pentire gelding has steadily built to the task this time in, but was all but abandoned in 2017 South Australian Derby betting markets in the hours leading up to jump and left a $26 chance for success.
Jumping from the gates well, Volatile Mix was settled well off the pace of early leaders Sedanzer, Netherfield and Odeon, who slowed the tempo right down across the back straight and ensured the SA Derby was a race of tactics.
Switching off and receiving a dream run in transit, jockey John Allen allowed the three-year-old plenty of time to balance upon arriving at the final straight, before he asked for an extra effort.
Greeted with a big turn of foot, Volatile Mix charged forward and locked in a fierce sprint battle with Ruthven and race favourite Odeon, but managed to get the better of his rivals and ran out the 2500m in impressive fashion.
Volatile Mix returned to the races for fifth in a Bendigo minor over 1400m on March 14th, before beating a smart field to the line in the Porter Plant BM64 (1600m) a fortnight later.
Making a credible transition to black type company when finishing mid-pack in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) on April 8th, the gelding out of Utopia appeared as though he would relish a step up to 2500m when he hit the line for fourth in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2030m) on April 24th.
Ruthven appeared to be in the box set to win the SA Derby this afternoon, but clearly tired in the final 100m to finish a close second, as was the case with Odeon.
A late scratching from last weekend’s Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m), Savvy Dreams ran on strongly to finish fourth this afternoon.