Richard Jolly is convinced a better barrier draw will help Kushadasi’s South Australian Derby chances as the trainer bids to go one better than last year.
The Jolly-trained Hioctdane was runner-up in the Derby 12 months ago after jumping from the outside barrier and the trainer will saddle up two horses in Saturday’s 2500-metre Group One at Morphettville.
Kushadasi, who has barrier three, is Jolly’s leading chance with class on his side but the trainer also believes Majestic Moment is not out of it stepping up in trip after two provincial wins.
Kushadasi was a close second to Gamblin’ Guru in the Port Adelaide Guineas then had excuses last Saturday when he came from last for fourth in the Chairman’s Stakes (2000m).
The gelding jumped from a wide gate then struck interference and clipped heels shortly after the start which Jolly said resulted in Kushadasi ending up a clear last in transit.
“He’s going to be allowed the relax early but certainly from the good draw hopefully he can relax and he’s certainly going to be a lot closer than he was the other day,” Jolly said.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Order Of The Sun is the favourite ahead of last start Caulfield winner Bring Something.
Australasian Oaks placegetter Scratchy Bottom holds the third line of betting while Kushadasi shares the fourth line with Best Case.
“You’ve got to line different form lines up which makes it hard, but I’m happy with him (Kushadasi),” Jolly said.
“I think he’s up to it.”
Jolly said the distance was still a query for Kushadasi but said he was a relaxed horse which would help him.
Majestic Moment was taken to Murray Bridge and Balaklava at his past two starts, instead of tackling Kushadasi in stakes races, and won over 1606m and 2200m.
“I took him back to winnable races and he’s going really well. He showed he can stay. I definitely think he’s not hopeless in the race,” Jolly said.