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Trainer Phillip Stokes cannot fault Mr Quickie’s build-up to the South Australian Derby and believes getting the favourite relaxed with cover will be a key to success in the Group One staying race.

Mr Quickie has been targeted at Saturday’s SA Derby at Morphettville and has won three of his four starts in Victoria this campaign in the lead-up.

The only blemish was a narrow second to South Australian Derby rival Grinzinger Star two starts ago when he carried 6kg more than the winner, but the gelding bounced straight back to winning ways, defeating older horses in the VOBIS Gold Heath at Caulfield last Saturday week.

“I couldn’t be happier,” Stokes said.

“He pulled up really well from his gallop on Monday morning at Pakenham. (Jockey) Johnny Allen came and rode him.

“He travels over to Adelaide in the morning.

“He’s got a bit of an awkward barrier (13) but if we get a bit of rain it might not be as bad.

“All his lead-up races have been great.

“He has been in form the whole way through and I can’t fault him.

“It is a Group One but I’m as happy as I can be. He’s just got to travel over well.”

Mr Quickie relaxed how Stokes hoped and put his rivals away over 2000m last start but still has to prove himself over 2500m for the first time on Saturday.

“It is a different ball game,” Stokes said.

“Johnny has just got to get him to relax. Three quarters of the field won’t run it out anyway.

“In his trackwork he’s been working behind other horses and he’s been doing all the right things.

“Most of the main chances are drawn around him so he should be able to get on one of their backs.”

Stokes is chasing his first SA Derby while Allen has won two of the past three.

 
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