The Darren Weir stable just continues to win big races and we saw that first-hand in last week’s Group 1 Schweppes Oaks with Sopressa. As we gear up towards SA Derby Day, it looks like the stable could be set for another big weekend!
Weir will saddle up four runners in the Group 1 UBET SA Derby including the favourite Leicester, along with Civil Disobedience, Savaheat and Amerock. Amerock will be ridden by last weekend’s hero, Harry Coffey and regular stable jockey, Dean Yendall will ride Savaheat. However it’s Civil Disobedience and John Allen which could be the story of the day as Allen aims to ride a hat-trick of SA Derby winners for Weir.
Howard Be They Name claimed the Derby in 2016, while Volatile Mix caused an upset when he saluted for Weir and Allen at $25 in the 2017 edition. With a bit of luck, Allen is hoping history can repeat itself once again on Saturday.
Civil Disobedience won the Listed Tasmanian Derby in February with Allen aboard before a tilt at the Group 1 New Zealand Derby in March where he finished in seventh spot, four lengths off the winner Vin De Dance.
The last two winners of the SA Derby have come through the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes with Howard Be They Name winning the race in 2016 while Volatile Mix ran fourth in the traditional Derby lead-up race. Civil Disobedience was ridden forward in the race two weeks ago before fading to run eighth but Allen says there were excuses for the talented colt.
“The run in the Chairman’s wasn’t ideal. He pulled too hard with the blinkers on and we had to go forward. The blinkers off on Saturday should really help him and I think he’s definitely a chance in the race. He wasn’t beaten far in the G1 New Zealand Derby and didn’t have a good run there, so he’s definitely got the trip and class” says Allen.
Allen has previously ridden all three of the Weir horses in the race and even guided Savaheat to victory in the Listed Hill Smith Stakes here in October of last year but he’s very happy to be on Civil Disobedience on Saturday.
“He (Civil Disobedience) didn’t have the best run last start but he gives me a similar feel to the last couple Derby winners. Leicester has been in good form but could be questionable at the trip but I think Dean Yendall is on the dark horse in the race. He (Savaheat) had a good run in the Chairman’s and I don’t think he’ll have any issues getting the trip.”
Allen will have two other rides at Morphettville on Saturday, including the ride on Group 1 Australian Guineas runner-up, Peaceful State.
“He’s going to be hard to beat. He’s a really nice horse. He didn’t have the easiest run last start and he should get into a much better spot on Saturday. If he can reproduce his last start effort he should win. He could have even improved from that run, which is exciting.”
Allen’s other ride is on the Jarrod McLean trained Instrumentalist who Allen rode over the Oakbank Easter Carnival.
“He’s in good form. It’s a very competitive race and I reckon he should be around the mark.”
Adelaide has been a happy hunting ground for Allen. Along with his two Group 1 victories here, he has won another seven Stakes races at Morphettville over his career. This season alone he’s ridden seven winners at Morphettville at a 22% strike rate.
“I’ve got lots of good memories from Morphettville over the years. The main track there is great and I think it’s probably the fairest track in Australia. I’ve always had plenty of good luck there and hopefully that continues there on Saturday.”