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Image: Bruno Cannatelli
A quick turn of foot at a vital stage has given Jungle Magnate victory in the SA Derby

The Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained Jungle Magnate has emulated his sire by becoming a Derby winner in Australia.

Tarzino took out the 2015 Victoria Derby while seven-and-a-half years later Jungle Magnate has had his moment of glory in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on Saturday.

Before joining Kent Jnr in a training partnership in 2019, Price prepared Tarzino to win the Derby and said he hopes to be back in Adelaide in 12 months’ time looking for another Derby victory.

Ridden by Mark Zahra, Jungle Magnate ($7.50) scored by 1-¾ lengths from Yaphet ($10) with Detonator Jack ($3.50) a further three-quarters-of-a-length away third.

“We paid $60,000 for Tarzino and put some really good people into him,” Price told racing.com.

“That stallion is doing a good job and we’ve got a few of them that we think go well and this time next year I reckon we’ll have another big, strong Tarzino back here for the Derby.”

Jungle Magnate ran in the Victoria Derby last year, finishing tenth to Hitotsu, but Price conceded he had messed up the gelding’s preparation.

After a debut 1400m win at Sandown, Price had Caulfield Guineas aspirations for the three-year-old.

“But in his first-up run after a spell, he went too slow,” Price said.

“I thought ‘what are we going to do now’, so I had to change him around mid-prep which cost him.

“When he ran in the Victoria Derby, he’d had enough, he was on the way down, but we had it pegged right this time.

“He had a good spell, a good prep and a big circle around this race as his peak point.”

After two return trips to Adelaide, Price would now prefer to spell Jungle Magnate for a spring preparation rather than head north for a tilt at the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm in two weeks.

“I never want to go too far with my horses,” Price said.

“I would want to put him out is my first thought. He doesn’t have to get on a plane and fly to Queensland.

“He’s done a good job and I’d like to see him in the paddock.”

 
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