Dan Clarken is hoping racing luck will be on his side when he chases a second Group 1 victory and first in combination with partner Oopy MacGillivray in Saturday’s $502,250 SA Derby (2500m) at Morphettville.
The Murray Bridge stable has Harleymoven taking on the big guns in Godolphin’s Alegron and Ciaron Maher/David Eustace’s Detonator Jack and Clarken believes they have the right horse to topple some of Australian racing’s powerhouses.
“Looking at the race if you take those two out, we’d be close to favourite,’’ Clarken said.
“A lot is going to depend on how the race is run. I’d love to see them go hard early, Harley(moven) be able to slot in somewhere and then relax. If that happens, I think he is going to be right in the finish.
“He’s shown that he’s able to run some serious sectionals at the end of his races so fingers crossed he can do something special on Saturday,’’ he said.
Clarken said Harleymoven had progressed through his campaign well given the challenges in keeping a three-year-old going over an extended time to get to the Derby.
“It’s been difficult,’’ Clarken said.
“The three weeks between the (Port Adelaide) Guineas and the Chairmans was a challenge. Derby horses can be a lot like a two-year-old. One day you’ve got them (in good order) and the next they are gone (over the top),’’ he said.
But the stable’s ability to mix up his work at home has made that task easier.
“He had his final piece of serious work here this morning (Thursday),’’ Clarken said.
“That was on the treadmill in a confined space, he’ll go down to the lake tomorrow and have a walk through the water and then it raceday,’’ he said.