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Image: Pat Scala
Matt will on Saturday saddle Nobel Heights in the Group 1 South Australian Derby

Ballarat trainer Matt Cumani is yet to win a Derby, but he has the breeding to be a Derby winning trainer.

His father Luca was a dual English Derby winning trainer and Matt will on Saturday saddle Nobel Heights in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville.

“If someone asked me to describe a Derby horse, he is exactly that,” Cumani said of Nobel Heights.

“He’s probably still a little immature and will improve a bit next year.”

Nobel Heights has had a gradual build-up to the South Australian Derby.

He was successful at Sandown first-up in March before running second to fellow Derby aspirant Deepstrike, again at Sandown, before running fifth in the Chairman’s Stakes (2040m) at Morphettville on April 24.

“I think his fifth-place finish doesn’t give the whole story,” Cumani said.

“He could have quite easily have been second or third as you could quite easily throw a blanket over that second group in the race.

“It was a very good run and he seems to have come through it well. He’s a lovely horse and I think the Derby trip will be perfect for him.”

Nobel Heights has been thwarted by wide draws in recent assignments, although Cumani conceded he had not been afraid to start the three-year-old from those gates.

On Saturday, luck has finally come Cumani’s way with Nobel Heights drawing barrier four from where apprentice Will Price should be able to achieve a good run.

“We haven’t been afraid to run him from his wide gates because he is a big striding horse, but I have been left with a lot of questions,” Cumani said.

“And as we get to the pointier end, I’m glad we have come up with a softer draw.

“In these Group 1 races you need everything to go right.”

 
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