The Mounting Yard stays in South Australia this weekend for Day 2 of the carnival, where the feature event is the Group 1 South Australian Derby, where the battle between Dalasan and Warning will resume.
The other features on the program are the SA Sires Produce at Group 3 level and the Adelaide Guineas at listed level. The track is currently rated as a Good 4, but we could get into the soft range by Saturday with some wet weather expected in Adelaide.
Let’s find some winners!
Race 1: three-year-old, benchmark 84, handicap, 1000 metres
This is a pretty hot race for the progressive three-year-olds to kick off the program. I’m happy to be with Larkham and he is well over the odds and it’s hard to see him missing the top three. He has been up for a while, but barring his run two back when he pulled up lame, he has been fantastic. He was brilliant three back when kicking around the turn and extending that lead in the straight to win by four lengths, and I would prefer to be with his form line from last start when he ran two and a half lengths off two smart types in Fortune Follows and Aten. He travelled wide and without cover for the entirety of that race, and that won’t happen today from the low draw (2). He should camp behind the leading couple and be hard to hold out. Dixon Street is the main danger. She was excellent last preparation when breaking her maiden, winning by nearly six lengths, before narrowly missing at this track in what has turned out to be a hot-form race. She resumed at Gawler a fortnight ago after a six-month break and won with ease. She rises in grade here, but she gets in well at the weights and maps well to sit behind a hot speed. Too Easy Sis and Garvoc are the best of the rest.
Recommended bet: #4 Larkham each way at $6.50.
Race 2: SA Sires produce, Group 3, three-year-old, set weights, 1400 metres
The only other group race bar the derby awaits the punters here and I’m very keen on the favourite in Ecumenical. I rated her as an odds-on chance so we are getting a very fair price currently. She is gunning for three in a row here and her last two runs have been fantastic. She was green in the straight two back at this track over 1050 metres when getting up late to win by a long neck over Zoushine, before going to the Breeders last start and winning by two and a half lengths over a few who she faces again here. She draws perfectly today (3) to get the run of the race and the 1400 metres doesn’t seem to be an issue. Very hard to beat. The Last Charge is the danger, if there is any. He ran on strongly two back behind Forever Free at Caulfield who won here last weekend, before going to Bendigo and breaking his maiden when leading all the way. He draws perfectly (4) to try and dictate out in front again. Indictment and Violinist are the best of the rest and can fill the placings.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #7 Ecumenical at $2.50.
Race 3: Autumn Series final, benchmark 80, handicap, 1400 metres
An intriguing race awaits the punters here in the third and a couple are over the odds. She’s Never Late is going well this time in and the expected strong tempo will suit. She never really fires fresh so I’m prepared to forgive that run, and her win two back, all but against inferior opposition, was brilliant when winning by basically four lengths. She then went up in grade to Saturday class when she ran on solidly to finish half a length off Aray of Sunshine, who is seemingly back to its best. She should be rock-hard fit here fourth up and she has been screaming out for the 1400 metres. I Am Impinge is another who is over the odds. He ran on strongly two back behind Kenyan Wonder, before putting in a very good performance behind Poysed to Rein when he probably would have finished closer if it wasn’t for the tiring leader laying out on him late. He draws perfectly today (5) and drops in weight, which will be to his advantage. One More Jack is going for a rare feat of seven in a row and can’t be underestimated with that make-your-own-luck style from up on the speed, while Aiguilette is the best of the rest and the 1400 metres does suit today.
Recommended bet: Each way plays on #9 She’s Never Late at $8 and #5 I Am Impinge at $21.
Race 4: benchmark 64, handicap, 1050 metres
Out of the group and listed-level races, this is one of the better races on the program. It’s a race in three, but I do have Almadrava on top. This Stokes-trained filly was good in Melbourne last preparation without winning, when running two lengths off Snap Crackle Boom, before ending the preparation when running a length off Winter Typhoon after travelling wide throughout in the run. She went out for a long break (20 weeks), before trialling up well at this track and then absolutely destroying them on resumption when winning by four and a half lengths over Skilled Bunch, who has subsequently broken its maiden in impressive fashion. She gets in well at the weights here, with her main rivals giving her five kilos in the run, and if she replicates her performance when fresh, she will be hard to beat. Moi Choux is a dual acceptor in Melbourne but if he does come here, he is a chance. He has won three from four and is putting together a good record. He won at his first two starts at Cranbourne and then Moe before going out for a spell. He was poor resuming when suffering a tough run, before bouncing back on a heavy track at Sale when beating The Executioner. He draws well (2) and should get a lovely run. Triple Deez and Sidestreet are the best of the rest and must go into all exotics.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #10 Almadrava at $3.50.
Race 5: Provincial Super Series final, benchmark 75, handicap, 1800 metres
What a nightmare race this is for the punters. It’s $7 the field and definitely not a race I want to be involved in. The best value in the race was probably Fight For Freedom. He made up good ground two back when running two lengths off With Pleasure, before going to Balaklava on a heavy track and winning over the mile. He draws well, will appreciate any give in the ground and should appreciate 1800 metres. Sasun and Adatto have had some good duels this preparation and they are probably the two that have the ability to fight it out again. I would learn toward Adatto because he maps better from the good gate (4). Manzala and Hasta La Fiorente are the best of the rest, but like I said, this race is an absolute minefield and nothing would surprise me.
Recommended bet: Leaving this one alone.
Race 6: Adelaide Guineas, listed level, three-year-old, set weights, 1600 metres
What an intriguing race the Guineas is this year. I’m happy to play around the favourite as she is too short and I am prepared to back two runners here who are over the odds. Yourdeel can run a big race. His best form is without doubt good enough for this type of a race and he proved that a few starts back when flashing home at Mornington from practically last to run two lengths off Chuck a Luck and Power Scheme. He didn’t handle the heavy track two back, and the only runner that made ground in the Chairman’s last start was Warning who is an equal favourite for the derby. He gets back to what is his pet trip here at 1600 metres and he should be able to settle a bit closer in the run from the low draw (2).
Royal Discreet is another who is over the odds. She was pretty good two back in the Laelia when running two lengths off Meuse in what has been a hot-form race, before she went to the Nitschke Stakes and was super against the pattern of the race. She draws well (7) and has to be a chance in what will most likely be a slowly run mile. Done By Me had excuses two back behind Lunakorn, before coming to Adelaide and running well last start. She maps to get a lovely run. Kooweerup is the best of the rest. The query is out on whether this filly actually wants to win, but she looks well placed here and should be ready to peak third up.
Recommended bet: Each-way plays on #1 Yourdeel at $11 and #11 Really Discreet at $8.50.
Race 7: Two Metro Metro Wins Last-Year Handicap, 1200 metres
It’s a pretty good race with some old warhorses taking on the new and talented brigade. I’m pretty keen on one here and that is Debt Collector. He is well over the odds currently at an each way quote. He was good last preparation, when beating Easy Beast (who he faces again here) and Aiguilette, before running on well behind the likes of Shrouded in Mist and Tongsai Boss. He went out for a break after that run and resumed really well a few weeks back when flashing home to run two lengths off Mum’s My Hero. He drops six kilos from that run, should be fitter second up and draws well (5). Ticks all the boxes. I like Terbium in a race at Caulfield and he is the main danger if they decide to come here. He showed a glimpse of his best on resumption at Bendigo when flashing home to run a neck away from Coruscate and Barthelona, before going to Caulfield and never handling the wet ground last start. He draws well (2) and should be ready to fire third up. Easy Beast was tough in defeat last start behind Simply Dreaming and should get a cosy run in front, while the tough old mare in Beautiful Flyer has to be considered dropping back in grade.
Recommended bet: #9 Debt Collector each way at $5.50.
Race 8: TAB South Australian Derby, Group 1, three-year-old, set weights
It’s a cracking edition of the derby this year and I’m keen to play around the favourite in Dalasan as there are genuine queries surrounding whether he can get the 2500 metres. I’m happy to be with two runners here and one of them is the bomb proof Warning. I thought it was a relatively horrible steer from Tommy Berry in the Australian Derby and he wasn’t given much of a chance, but besides that, he has been good again this preparation. He worked home well in both the Randwick Guineas and the Rosehill Guineas, before coming to the Chairman’s last start and absolutely flashing home (when nothing else in the race did) to finish two lengths off Dalasan. He steps up to the 2500 metres today, which I am confident will see him turn the tables on Dalasan and he is a good bet at the current price. I want to save on Themoonlitegambler. His last two runs back in Adelaide have been terrific, when running third after travelling three wide the trip in the Port Adelaide Guineas, before battling on well last start to run a length off Dalasan. He will get a lovely run from the rails draw (1) in a slowly-run race and he is the main danger. Russian Camelot and Dalasan are the best of the rest, but there are queries surrounding both of them – Dalasan at the trip and the fitness levels of Russian Camelot stepping up from the mile to 2500 metres for the first time.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #2 Warning at $4, with something small on #3 Themoonlitegambler at $21.
Race 9: SA Spring Series final, benchmark 80, handicap, 1100 metres
The lucky last on the program arrives here in the sprint series final. It’s a wide-open race, but I have to stick with Appalachian. The lightly raced Gelding out of the Jolly yard has had no luck whatsoever this preparation. He flashed home late on resumption after never getting a look at them over 1000 metres, before the same thing happened last start in a pretty handy field when he was a good thing licked. He draws out today (14), but it will suit this horse as he will have the galloping room available to him late, which he hasn’t had in previous starts. As long as Zac Spain can find him some cover in the run, he will be hard to hold out third up and rising in distance. Aten is the main danger. She draws out here (12), which isn’t ideal, but she was only two lengths off Loving Gaby last preparation and that reads well for this. She was terrific when winning on resumption over Antrim’s Secret at Gawler, before being pretty luckless last start when running a neck away from the talented Fortune Follows. She has the early speed to cross and sit on the speed. Besides those two, it is a raffle. Seemingly Discreet is going for five in a row and has to be respected, while White Kaps can run a big race at odds.
Recommended bet: #11 Appalachian each way at $7.
Best bet: Race 2 #7 Ecumenical.
Next best bet: Race 7 #9 Debt Collector.
Best value: Race 6 #1 Yourdeel and Race 3 #9 She’s Never Late.