Saint Eustace primed for Derby tilt

Saint Eustace will contest the Gr.1 South Australia Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on Saturday. Photo: Reg Ryan/Racing Photos

An unsuccessful trip to Adelaide last month could be the makings of Saint Eustace’s Gr.1 South Australia Derby (2500m) campaign, according to co-trainer Mick Price.

The Victorian horseman trains in partnership with Michael Kent Jr and said while Saint Eustace’s seventh-placing in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) was disappointing, the trip away was good education ahead of Saturday’s Derby at Morphettville.

“We did travel over there for the 1800m race and had no joy on the day, getting held up,” Price said.

“But it was like a practice run for him knowing that we wanted to go back for the Derby.”

The three-year-old son of Tavistock subsequently returned to Melbourne where he finished runner-up in the Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington.

“He got a long way back in the St Leger and he also went from the 1800m straight to the 2800m, but he is a beautiful, clean-winded staying Tavistock,” Price said.

Price believes punters shouldn’t leave Saint Eustace out of their trifectas, but said he is wary of race rivals Dalasan and Russian Camelot.

“There are a couple of classy horses in the race,” Price said. “You have got to have a lot of respect for Dalasan, he is trained over there. He is a Dalakhani horse, so who is to say he is not going to get the 2500m.

“Danny O’Brien’s horse (Russian Camelot) had a hiccup, but he is obviously a very good horse.”

A$5 million All-Star Mile (1600m) runner Dalasan won the Port Adelaide Guineas before taking out the Gr.3 Chairman’s Stakes (2035m) last start.

He has been duly installed a $2.80 favourite ahead of Warning and Russian Camelot ($4), while Saint Eustace has been marked a $21 winning chance by TAB bookmakers.

While Price has plenty of respect for his rivals on Saturday, he believes Saint Eustace should put in a good showing.

“He’s a beautiful, clean-winded stayer and he has drawn a gate (6),” Price said.

“He’s a good chance of running in the money and he is some chance of winning.

“Our plan has worked out pretty good. I think at the end of the 2500m if you want to back an absolute stayer you can have something on Saint Eustace because that is what he is.”

Saint Eustace was purchased out of Cambridge Stud’s 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Sale draft by Price for $160,000.

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