Premiership winning trainer Darren Weir is relying in Voodoo Lad’s dynamic first up record to claim the winning trophy for the Group 1 $1m Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Weir will saddle up three runners in the Goodwood and nominates Voodoo Lad with apprentice Ben Allen in the saddle as his preference over Stellar Collision and Handsome Thief.
Voodoo Lad has drawn barrier one in the capacity twenty horse Goodwood field and even though Weir said that the six year old will need plenty of luck from that gate, he is banking on his outstanding fresh record to get him home.
Voodoo Lad has four wins and two seconds from six first up attempts and the big bay gelding will be having his first run back since finishing fifth to She Will Reign in the Group 1 $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley in September last year during the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
“I’d say he’d have to be the pick of my three,” Weir told racing.com.
“He’s had a couple of good solid trials. We aimed to run him in this race first-up because he’s got such a great fresh record.
“Ben will suit him. He’s a horse that needs to find his feet. He’ll need a bit of luck getting through them (from barrier one) but if he can get a bit of clear room late, he’ll be hitting the line strong.”
Voodoo Lad has performed well at Group 1 grade in the past but is yet to win at that level with his best results being a second in the Group 1 $500,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival and a second in the Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington during the 2017 Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
Voodoo Lad has been steady in the Goodwood betting at $10 with Ladbrokes.com.au while Weir’s other two runners Handsome Thief and Stellar Collision are both marked at $26.
Handsome Thief (Dean Yendall, barrier 12) and Stellar Collision (Luke Currie, barrier 17) head to Morphettville after running the quinella in the Listed $150,000 Midfield Group Wangoom Handicap (1200m) at Warrnambool on May 2.
The Lindsay Park trained Vega Magic is the short priced $2.70 favourite and has also shown in the past that he races at his top when fresh with a first up win for the stable in last year’s Goodwood.
Damien Oliver takes the ride on Vega Magic who has drawn a little awkwardly at barrier fourteen.