James Cummings’ gun galloper Alegron has come up trumps with the perfect barrier draw ahead of his run in the Group 1 $500,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on the weekend.
The Godolphin-raced Teofilo gelding attempts a well-deserved breakthrough Group victory in the SA Derby on Saturday already boasting two previous Derby places at elite level.
In the spring he finished runner-up in the VRC Derby at Flemington behind Hitotsu, before running third two back narrowly beaten behind the same star youngster in the ATC Derby at Randwick.
Last time out Alegron franked that form with a strong win in the Listed VRC St Leger over 2800m at Headquarters, momentum the Royal Blue brigade are hopeful the horse can build on this Saturday.
Jockey Damien Oliver continues associations with the SA Derby favourite from barrier two, Alegron coming in one gate after the withdrawal of the rails-drawn Archie Alexander-trained Teewaters earlier in the week.
Alegron was originally considered for a run in Melbourne’s Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) on the same day, that Flemington feature offering a Melbourne Cup ballot exemption to the winner.
Following a decision to head to Adelaide for the Derby, Alegron has firmed into $3.10 favouritism in the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Last year’s winning trainers, Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, return chasing back-to-back wins following the success of Explosive Jack in 2021.
The team are now dually represented in Saturday’s SA Derby field with the undefeated Detonator Jack joined by first emergency Texas Tea who has now gained a start.
New Zealand-bred Jakkalberry gelding Detonator Jack goes up in grade for his first Black-Type assignment this weekend having won all three of his previous starts to date.
He was last seen saluting in a Benchmark78 defeating fellow Derby hopefuls The Nephew and Commander Harry at Sandown on April 18 and has a wide draw (14 at time of publish) for Irishman John Allen to overcome on Saturday.
Derby hero Allen chases his fifth South Australian Derby success in seven years following recent victories aboard: Howard Be Thy Name (2016), Volatile Mix (2017), Russian Camelot (2020) and Explosive Jack (2021).
The two best gallopers out of the traditional South Australian Derby lead-up, the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2000m) run at Morphettville on April 30, meanwhile will jump alongside each other in the rematch on Saturday.
Chairman’s champ Jungle Magnate (12) and Harleymoven (11) ran one-two with three-quarters of a length separating them in the Group 3 and are both at single-figures for the Derby paying $7 and $8 respectively at time of publish.
Also in solid form representing a touch of value for this season’s Australasian Oaks winning partnership of Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young is the aforementioned Commander Harry at $18.
The stable won the Oaks with Glint Of Hope two weeks back and are chasing another Group 1 win in South Australia saddling-up their Reliable Man grey who comes off back-to-back thirds in Melbourne.
The sole filly in this year’s event is Brock Lewthwaite’s WA Oaks winner out of Perth, Lady Chant in gate five.
She is a $61 outsider in betting following a disappointing second last when 15th in the Australasian Oaks last time out.
The South Australian Derby is set to run as Race 8 at 3:52pm (ACST) as the penultimate event on the nine-race Morphettville card on Saturday.