The girls have had their day out at South Australia’s Adelaide Racing Carnival with the running of the Group 1 Roberts Sangster Stakes (for fillies and mares) and the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (three-year-old fillies) at Morphettville on 2 May.
The second day of the carnival on 9 May features the $400,000 Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m), which has attracted a crack field of three-year-old stayers. It’s followed by the $400,000 Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m), a race for the sprinters, on 16 May.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic protocols have restricted the movement of our most popular and senior jockeys into Adelaide, it has opened up the opportunities for jockeys such as Damien Thornton and Zac Spain to show their talents.
Thornton had a breakthrough Group 1 win on the Chris Waller–trained filly Toffee Tongue in the Schweppes (Australasian) Oaks, and he rides the Victoria Derby winner Warning for Anthony Freedman in the South Australian Derby.
The Goodwood meeting is a quality program that also includes the $120,000 Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m), $120,000 Group 3 SA Fillies Classic (2500m), Group 3 National Stakes (1200m), $120,000 Group 3 Proud Miss Stakes (1200m) and the $100,000 Listed Centaurea Stakes (2000m).
Sportsbet is offering markets on both the South Australian Derby and The Goodwood.
South Australian Derby: A cracker of a field
The South Australian Derby shapes as one of the best derbys to be held in Adelaide for many years, which is quite incredible considering the coronavirus-affected situation we find ourselves in.
Local hero Dalasan has dominated the lead-up races, and he holds his position at the top of Sportsbet’s South Australian Derby betting. However, there are plenty of good judges willing to take him on as a query remains as to whether he can run out a strong 2500m, especially after a long campaign.
Warning and Russian Camelot are pressing Dalasan for favouritism.
Warning was dynamic in winning the Victoria Derby on wet ground in the spring, but he’s struggled to win this campaign. He ground home for third behind Dalasan in the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) two weeks ago but will be suited by the extra distance.
Russian Camelot is an exciting stayer. He was bought in England as a yearling and is giving rivals up to six months older in age a run for their money. He’s a raw talent capable of winning the derby.
That said, Russian Camelot has had an interrupted campaign due to an elevated temperature, which saw him miss a valuable lead-up race in Melbourne. It will take all the talent of trainer Danny O’Brien to have Russian Camelot at his best in his first attempt at winning a Group 1 race.
The interesting runner is the royally bred Miyake, a colt who was conceived in Japan and born at Arrowfield Stud in Scone, NSW. He is a son of the great Japanese sire Deep Impact, and trainer Chris Waller rushed him to Adelaide after his impressive win at Canterbury in Sydney on 22 April.
Others with winning claims are Saint Eustace, who ran a terrific second in the Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) on 25 April; the consistent Moonlight Gambler, who was game when second in the Chairman’s; and the improving Rising Archie, a son of former star mare She’s Archie.
Fillies Moonlight Maid, Zayydani and Silent Sovereign all ran in the Schweppes Oaks, and they all have strong claims. The filly Qafila won last year’s derby after finishing fourth in the Oaks.
Moonlight Maid was the best of the three when she finished second behind Toffee Tongue after a torrid wide run, while Zayydani looked luckless running into tails in the straight when seventh.
South Australian Derby tips: For those looking for a bet in this classic race, Russian Camelot is a rising star that looks the value odds. For those looking outside the square, Miyake and Saint Eustace are worth a play.
The Goodwood: Nothing ‘Trashy’ about the transformation of Gytrash
Local star Gytrash (pronounced ‘jai-trash’ and not ‘gee-trash’ as some race callers refer to him) holds the top position in Sportsbet’s futures market for the Adelaide premier sprint race, The Goodwood (1200m) on 16 May.
Gytrash is named after the mythical English animal – usually a dog or horse – that can transform itself on a whim.
The gelding has transformed in the past six months into one of Australia’s most exciting sprinters, and a win in The Goodwood could earn him a slot in the field for the $14 million The Everest in Sydney in the spring.
The Gordon Richards–trained sprinter couldn’t have been more impressive in winning the Group 3 Irwin Stakes (1100m) at Morphettville on 18 April, when he trounced the top mare Sunlight.
Gytrash will face a stronger field in The Goodwood, including the proven Group 1 sprinters Santa Ana Lane, Trekking and Sunlight, but he’s the horse on the rise.
Santa Ana Lane is the highest rated horse in The Goodwood with 117, five points higher than Gytrash, but he hasn’t won since the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick in April last year. He won The Goodwood in 2018, when he was regarded as the best sprinter in Australia.
Sunlight has to redeem herself from her flop on a wet track in the Robert Sangster Stakes. Importantly for those who want to snaffle the good odds on offer, she’s bounced back from a flop in the past, especially if she gets a firm track.
The mighty Tasmanian The Inevitable is another horse that is strongly fancied in The Goodwood betting markets. For those looking at some value odds, Street Icon has the talent to cause an upset.
The Goodwood tips: Gytrash to beat Santa Ana Lane, with The Inevitable and Street Icon a punt for those wanting to go wide.