The Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival rolls on this Saturday at Morphettville with the running of the Group 1 South Australian Derby between the three-year-olds.
Nine races are set to take place, including the South Australian Sires’ Produce and the Adelaide Guineas.
We’ve run the rule over the lot and our best bets for South Australian Derby Day can be found below.
Race 1 - 12:07pm AEDT
The Junction Handicap (1000m)
Deep race to begin, and I’m quite keen to have something on last-start winner Queman at a decent price.
Shane Oxlade’s three-year-old showed some real speed over further here a couple of weeks ago, drawing clear from midfield to win by 1.5L.
He was unlucky to miss out at Oakbank first-up and looks capable of going on with it now in his third run back.
1 Unit E/W Queman
Race 2 - 12:42pm AEDT
G.H. Mumm Autumn Series Final (1400m)
Sticking with My Boy Birmingham in his second run back.
The son of Unencumbered had no luck racing four-wide fresh, but he still showed plenty in the finish to run fourth thanks to a brilliant steer from Jamie Kah.
John Allen has a similar job ahead of him from barrier 18, but out over further and with the blinkers on for the first time, there should be improvement to come.
1 Unit My Boy Birmingham
Race 3 - 1:17pm AEDT
Group 3 South Australian Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m)
Lots to like about Twin Stars ahead of his third assignment.
The Zoustar colt was well-beaten by See You In Heaven in the Breeders Stakes a few weeks ago, but he still showed some good fight in the finish after settling well back in the run.
Barend Vorster should have him a little closer to the speed this time, and with a run under his belt on soft going now, he’ll be tough to beat.
2 Units Twin Stars
Race 4 - 1:52pm AEDT
David DT Thomas Memorial Handicap (1200m)
Happy to give Munster a bit of a mulligan on the back of his last-start at Oakbank over 1400m.
That trip (and the barrier) clearly didn’t suit him that day, but back to 1200m from a kinder draw, I think he can atone.
The son of Swiss Ace won his trial well earlier in the week at Murray Bridge, and with some relief at the weights, he’ll be tough to catch on speed.
1 Unit Munster
Race 5 - 2:27pm AEDT
Grand Syndicates - SA Sprint Series Final (1100m)
We’re getting a nice price for Calypso Reign ahead of his second run back.
David Jolly’s five-year-old won fresh over 1200m here last month where he overcame a wide run in transit to charge the line late.
He only needs to hold that form to be a threat here, while the fact he’s won twice in his second run back also reads well. Soft track form checks out and this is a much easier race than the ones he contested during the spring.
1 Unit Calypso Reign
Race 6 - 3:02pm AEDT
Australian Turf Club Provincial Super Series Final (1800m)
The Brumby doesn’t win out of turn, but he did run a big race at Murray Bridge last week where he missed out only narrowly on the line.
The Spirit Of Boom gelding ate up the wet track that day over the mile, a run that suggested he’ll see out 1800m at this stage of his prep.
He’s rock-hard fit for three runs back, and with Barend Vorster dropping 3.5kgs in the saddle, he should be saving his best for late once again.
1 Unit The Brumby
Race 7 - 3:42pm AEDT
Listed Adelaide Guineas (1600m)
Good luck beating Illation here.
Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr’s three-year-old has been sensational in both starts so far, winning on debut at Pakenham by a whopping 4.5L before spanking his rivals by a similar margin in the Nitschke Stakes here at Morphettville over 1400m.
Out to a mile doesn’t look a problem, and he’s got that win on rain-affected going now. Super promising type that is well-deserving of his status as a dominant favourite.
Race 8 - 4:22pm AEDT
Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m)
Another competitive crop of three-year-olds are set to take their place in the South Australian Derby, but I think this is basically a two-horse race between Alegron and Detonator Jack.
The former has a class edge over the rest of the field, but I think he’s a slight query if we’re faced with a wet track.
Detonator Jack, on the other hand, looks tough to fault. Given, he’s only lightly-raced, but this undefeated gelding out of the Maher and Eustace yard has been impressive in all three starts to date, winning by over a length on each occasion.
He ate up the soft going at Sandown a few weeks ago where he wound up from well back to win well. Out to 2500m doesn’t look an issue, and providing John Allen can offset the wide gate, I think he’ll be hard to hold out.
2 Units Detonator Jack
Race 9 - 5:00pm AEDT
James Squire Handicap (1050m)
Damascus Moment looks well-placed to make it a double here.
The Magnus mare rolled forward and led all the way to score at Stawell last time out in what was a brilliant front-running ride from John Allen.
I expect Campbell Rawiller to employ similar tactics here from the low draw, and with a slight class edge over her rivals, I think she’ll prove too tough to catch.
1 Unit Damascus Moment