Last week we saw girls start their preparations ahead of the Group 1 Australasian Oaks and this weekend it’s time for the boys on the Derby path to have their first proper hit-out in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas.
Going on recent history, the Group 1 SA Derby winner will be lining up in Saturday’s Port Adelaide Guineas with four of the last five Derby winners contesting this race. Volatile Mix (7th in the 2017 Guineas), Howard Be Thy Name (1st in the 2016 Guineas), Kushadasi (2nd in the 2014 Guineas) and Escado (7th in the 2013 Guineas) have all used this race as an important stepping-stone ahead of the Derby.
Also looking at previous history, the winner of the Port Adelaide Guineas has finished in the top four in their previous run. Last year’s winner Grand Chancellor won his last start at Ballarat before coming across the border to claim the Listed Guineas.
Darren Weir’s Leicester is the $2.50 favourite to claim this year’s race after a big run home for second place after missing the start at Sandown last start. His form prior to that run was solid with two wins from three starts. Shayne Cahill will take the ride for Weir from barrier eleven.
Weir’s other runner Civil Disobedience will have a few admirers after winning the Listed Tasmanian Derby in February before heading across the ditch to New Zealand where he ran seventh behind Vin De Dance and Mongolianconqueror in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby. The colt will be stepping back in trip from his last start but looks to be a very classy galloper.
Spring Choice will be looking to make it three wins in a row when he jumps from barrier one for Leon & Troy Corstens. He has been impressive in his last two starts and James Winks will make the trip over from Melbourne to ride him once again.
Fresh off notching her 100th winner in South Australia this season, Jamie Kah will ride Lindsay Park’s Eshtiraak. The gelding ran ninth in last year’s Group 1 Victoria Derby but has three runs back this preparation without threatening. The longer trip should suit and no doubt will be running on from the back of the field from barrier fourteen.
The best local chance looks to be Richard Jolly’s Skillful Steps who is currently $12 with UBET. He was three from three this preparation before his saddle slipped in his last start and battled on to run eighth. Paul Gatt continues his affiliation with the horse who he has ridden in all of his six career starts.
Leicester - $2.50
Spring Choice - $6
Civil Disobedience - $7
High ‘N’ Dry, Eshtiraak - $10
Skillful Steps - $12
Others - $15+