South Australian Derby Tips - Freedman has the drive for Derby

  • Ridgewood Drive looks well-placed to win the South Australian Derby (2500m) 
Ridgewood Drive.

Trainer Anthony Freedman is a master at getting his horses to peak for Group One races and I’m confident that Ridgewood Drive can do exactly that in Saturday’s Group One South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville.

I believe Ridgewood Drive will start favourite and the $5.00 on offer in the early markets is a good price. He comes through a very fast run race last start at Flemington and is on the quick seven-day backup, which pro punters and big syndicates love. 

The leaders went 14.2 lengths above benchmark to the 600m last start at Flemington and that allowed him to come right down the outside and bolt in by four-lengths. It was a peach of a ride from Damien Thornton and that overall figure of 14.5 lengths above benchmark is the best last start figure in the race.

Looking at his opposition, the clear other formline is with Mr Quickie. The Ex-Weir galloper now with Phillip Stokes is simply a winner. John Allen goes on board and his riding style should suit this horse perfectly, especially from barrier 13, Allen can allow the horse to blend into the race. 

Looking at his form, they walked in front last start in the Vobis race at Caulfield and the seas parted at the top of the straight and he proved far too good. Two starts he just found 60kg too challenging late in a much faster run race than the 15.5 lengths below benchmark walk he faced at Mornington the start prior. 

The small knock with Mr Quickie is, is that slowly run race at Caulfield over 2000m the right platform for this 2500m Group One? I think I’d rather play Grinzinger Star at the price over Mr Quickie. He beat him two starts ago and copped an almighty check and almost fell last start at Flemington behind Ridgewood Drive, I really liked the way he picked himself up and kept batting to the line to finish fourth.

Tony McEvoy saddles up three horses in the race and his best chance looks to be Secret Blaze. I thought this horse had reached his ceiling when he won at Bendigo two starts ago but he keeps improving. He went to another level in the mounting yard last start at Caulfield and bolted in against Transact who went onto win the VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington. 

His figure of 9.9 lengths above benchmark suggests he is still improving and although he did start $41 when Declarationofheart was $6.50 at Moonee Valley three starts ago, I don’t think there is as much between those two runners as the market suggested on that occasion.

The other formline to consider is the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2032m) at Morphettville. The stablemate to Ridgewood Drive, Declarationofheart won the race ahead of Star Missile and Classic Weiwei. 

Declearationofheart went 4.8 lengths above benchmark to the 600m and came home 4.5 lengths above benchmark for a solid overall figure of 9.3 lengths above benchmark. Having said that, he did get the perfect run through the pack, to defeat Star Missile who covered more ground and Classic Weiwei who ran the fastest last 200m of the race and looks much better suited over 2500m. 

The only filly in the race is the Lindsay Park-trained Qafila. She ran a good figure first-up at Caulfield but did get the perfect run in transit. Her first start on a heavy track resulted in a fourth behind Verry Elleegant in Sydney.  She contested the Australiasian Oaks (2000m) last Saturday and ran a really nice fourth behind Princess Jenni. She is on the seven-day back-up and raced like the 2500m will suit.

The other horse I want to mention is the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Gayson. He bolted in last start at Newcastle, winning by 6.5 lengths. He ran an overall figure of 7.9 lengths benchmark which was roughly ten-lengths better than any other winner on the day. He isn’t the worst $67 chance I’ve seen. 


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South Australian Derby Tips - Freedman has the drive for Derby

Trainer Anthony Freedman is a master at getting his horses to peak for Group One races and I’m confident that Ridgewood Drive can do exactly that in Saturday’s Group One South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville.

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