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Clayton Douglas and Damien Thornton will both chase their first G1 in the SA Derby

Clayton Douglas and Damien Thornton will both chase their first Group One wins in the South Australian Derby when they retain the rides on a pair of leading contenders from the Anthony Freedman stable.

Thornton steered Ridgewood Drive to a four-length win in a 2000m-handicap for three-year-olds at Flemington on Saturday with the gelding scheduled to back up in Saturday’s SA Derby (2500m) at Morphettville.

Douglas keeps the ride on Declarationofheart who he rode to victory in one of the main Derby lead-up races at Morphettville, the Group Three Chairmans Stakes last Saturday week.

The dual-code jockey won his first stakes race on the flat last month on Streets Of Avalon in the Group Three Victoria Handicap and backed it up with another a week later on Declarationofheart.

“Clayton rode him really well last time, so we like to keep loyal to him,” assistant trainer Sam Freedman said.

“He does a lot of work at home for us.”

Declarationofheart is second favourite at $5 behind the Phillip Stokes-trained Mr Quickie who could give jockey John Allen his third win in the race in the past four years.

Ridgewood Drive, a half-brother to 2014 Queensland Derby winner Sonntag, is $6.

Ben Allen will also get his latest opportunity at a first Group One win having been booked for the Greg Eurell-trained Star Missile who was second to Declarationofheart last start.

“Ben has been riding him work so he has got a good feel for him,” Eurell said.

The Mike Moroney-trained Chapada will have his third attempt at a Derby.

Chapada was a luckless third in the Victoria Derby in spring and at his most recent start was equal favourite but failed on a rain-affected track when 10th in the Australian Derby at Randwick.

“We decided to just go straight into this race with five weeks between runs but he’s been doing a bit of work,” Moroney said.

“He seems good.

“He just didn’t handle the ground last start, like a lot of other horses.

“He got through Rosehill but struggled at Randwick.”

Before the Australian Derby, Chapada was third in the Group One Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on a heavy track and Moroney felt the gelding did not have the best of luck.

“He deserves to win one. He’s been pretty luckless in two of the Group Ones now this season so we’ll see how we go on Saturday,” Moroney said.

“Hopefully it’s his turn.”

William Pike rides Chapada with Damien Oliver booked for Grinzinger Star.

 
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