A maiden Group 1 win in the Schweppes Oaks last week has jockey Damien Thornton craving for a second when he partners Warning in the Group 1 $400,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on Saturday.

Warning, above, is one of the top chances for the 2020 South Australian Derby at Morphettville. Photo by Steve Hart.

Warning, above, is one of the top chances for the 2020 South Australian Derby at Morphettville. Photo by Steve Hart.

Thornton joined the Group 1 winning jockey’s club with a splendid ride on the Chris Waller trained Toffee Tongue to win the Group 1 $400,000 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville last Saturday.

An inside barrier in the thirteen horse South Australian Derby field has boosted Thornton’s confidence of adding a second Group 1 trophy to his cabinet.

“I was pretty happy when I saw barrier three,” Thornton told Racenet.

“I won’t have to do any work to get him into a nice spot behind the leaders and hopefully it will be happy days.”

Warning was the winner of the Group 1 $2m Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on the first day of the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival but had failed to run a place at his next four starts.

But the Anthony Freedman trained three year old showed that he was ready to peak for the South Australian Derby when he ran on strongly at the end of the 2035m when third to Dalasan in the Group 3 $120,000 Chairman’s Stakes at Morphettville on April 25.

“We probably needed to see him do that in the Chairman’s to be fair,” Thornton said.

“Dalasan didn’t end up beating him by a big margin, I think it was just over a length in the end, but he was very good in the straight.

“He looks ready to run a big race on his last start. He was very strong late.”

“Dalasan has done nothing wrong to suggest he won’t stay but it’s a different kettle of fish when he gets to 2500,” Thornton said.

“Compared to 2000, it’s not the same and I know my bloke is proven so I don’t have to worry about it.

Thornton takes over the reins from Jake Toeroek who rides the Mitchell Freedman trained filly Moonlight Maid who finished second to Toffee Tongue in the Schweppes Oaks.

The Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas trained Dalasan is the $2.80 favourite for the South Australian Derby at Ladbrokes.com.au while Warning shares the second line of betting at $4 with the Danny O’Brien trained Russian Camelot.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.