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Ridgewood Drive pressed his claims for the AA Derby with a dominant win at Flemington

Trainer Anthony Freedman looks set to have two strong chances in the South Australian Derby after Ridgewood Drive pressed his claims for the Group One race with a dominant win at Flemington.

Ridgewood Drive is a half-brother to 2014 Queensland Derby winner Sonntag and Freedman’s son and assistant trainer, Sam Freedman, says next Saturday’s South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville is the plan for the gelding.

“If he pulls up well he will certainly head in that direction,” Sam Freedman said.

“We will monitor him closely during the week and make sure he is up to it.

“If for some reason he does not pull up 100 per cent then we could possibly look to Queensland.”

The stable also has Declarationofheart on target for the South Australian Derby after he won one of the main lead-up races, the Group Three Chairmans Stakes, in Adelaide last Saturday.

Ridgewood Drive moved to $6 third favourite after Saturday’s four-length victory in the Zipping Handicap (2000m) for three-year-olds.

The Phillip Stokes-trained Mr Quickie heads the market for the SA Derby at $3.50 with Declarationofheart $5.

Ridgewood Drive ($14) settled back in the field under Damien Thornton who go going before the turn to move around the field.

Despite copping a bump from favourite Grinzinger Star rounding the home turn, in which Grinzinger Star’s rider Ethan Brown was reprimanded, Ridgewood Drive kept travelling strongly and strode clear in the straight.

Predecessor ($11) led in the chasing pack for second with another length to Prism ($11) third.

“We certainly thought he could come here and win, but for him to win as easily as he did it probably was a little bit unexpected,” Freedman said.

“We were fairly confident.

“His run in South Australia last start was full of merit when he was three-wide the trip and he just kept coming.

“He’s improving all the time and he looks an out and out stayer.”

 
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