Moonlight Maid is trying to become the third filly in six years to win the Group 1 $400,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Perth filly Delicacy won the 2015 South Australian Derby a week after winning the Group 1 $400,000 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville while the Lindsay Park trained Qafila beat the colts and geldings last year.
Ballarat trainer Mitchell Freedman had no hesitation in backing up Moonlight Maiden this week after the filly finished second to Toffee Tongue in the Schweppes Oaks last Saturday.
Freedman also knows that Moonlight Maid will handle the step up to the 2500m better than some of the other three year olds after she finished third in the Group 1 $1m Kennedy Oaks over that journey at Flemington during the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“When she learns to settle she’ll be a really good stayer,” Freedman told the Herald Sun.
“In the VRC Oaks (Kennedy Oaks) she fought with the jockey for the whole race and still ran third.”
“She’s a good filly. She’s still learning her craft. We’ll keep trying to teach her.”
The forecast of rain for Adelaide on Friday and Saturday has also lifted Freedman’s confidence with Moonlight Maid having won her maiden at Geelong in June last year on a heavy track.
The Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas trained Dalasan is the current $2.80 favourite for the South Australian Derby at Ladbrokes.com.au while Moonlight Maid is marked at $13.
Dalasan is racing in outstanding form with wins at his last two starts over 1800m and 2035m, but is yet to be tested over the staying trip of 2500m.
Dalasan gave nothing else a chance with a three lengths win in the Listed $100,000 Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) at Morphettville on April 4 and followed that up with another winning performance in the Group 3 $120,000 Chairman’s Stakes (2035m) at Morphettville on Anzac Day.
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