Maher warns not to forget Let's Karaka Deel

Son of Dundeel lines up alongside Explosive Jack in SA Derby

LET'S KARAKA DEEL. Picture: Racing Photos

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Explosive Jack (Jakkalberry) is the favourite for the South Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2500m), but Maher has warned punters not to forget their other entrant Let's Karaka Deel (Dundeel) in the Group 1. 

Maher couldn't be happier with last-start Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) winner Explosive Jack, but he believes Let's Karaka Deel will also run well in Saturday's Group 1 at Morphettville.

Let's Karaka Deel, who was beaten just more than two lengths in the VRC Derby (Gr 1, 2500m), will be ridden by Ben Allen from barrier 15.

"He was solid in the VRC Derby. He was a very unfurnished horse then. He is better this time around," Maher said.

"It's a race we have targeted, 2500 metres will be no problem. He doesn't need a lot of racing, he's a naturally athletic horse. He will make his presence felt."

Maher is pleased with the condition of the Explosive Jack as he looks to add a second Group 1 to his CV. 

"He is in good order, has had a nice space between his runs," Maher said.

"He had a good gallop Saturday and he's going in fresh like he likes. Big track, 2500 metres, Johnny Allen. There's a bit to like about him.

"We won't get too ahead of ourselves. I'm certainly happy with him going in."

Meanwhile, Matt Cumani is hoping Nobel Heights (Fiorente) can make his presence felt in the Group 1 on Saturday. 

Last seen running fifth in the SAJC Chairman's Stakes (Gr 3, 2040m), the three-year-old colt will be ridden by Will Price from barrier four. 

"We always thought we had quite a strong-staying three-year-old division. So we were always looking forward to this year," Cumani said.

"I just hope it's not a year of 'nearlies'. Khoekhoe was a bit disappointing last start and a couple of starts before that he was going well, looking like the winner and didn't quite follow through with the run for various reasons.

"It could be that we end up this year happy with the stock we have got but frustrated we haven't been able to capitalise on it. But hopefully we can reverse that trend this weekend.

"He is in great shape, good form. He's a horse that will be better next year, I think. 

"He's still a bit of an immature horse. I couldn't be happier with his preparation so far. I think he's just a bit unlucky, a bit wide, had to do a fair bit of work and was finishing off really well in the Chairman's.

"I think it was a really good prep run. We've finally managed to draw a good gate with him, which should help.

"Hopefully there will be a bit of pace in the race and he will have something to chase all the way to the line."

Co-trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr are hoping Deepstrike (Tavistock) can upset his classy rivals in the South Australian Derby on Saturday. 

"He's a momentum type of horse that is in good order and will run right up to his best," Price said. 

"I'm hoping his best is good enough. 

"You have an Australian Derby winner, Explosive Jack, which doesn't usually happen, then you have Personal, a Victoria Oaks winner. 

"I suppose Personal is going to get out of her ground from that draw, but her run was very, very good last week. 

"They're the two best horses in the race, so hopefully we can beat them." 

Yet to be tried at 2500 metres, his last start eighth over 2040 metres at Morphettville on April 24 is the furthest Deepstrike has been, Price said the gelding's previous outings gave him the indication the distance would be a problem. 

"He was strong at Sandown over 1800 metres then he was on heels for most of it in the Chairman's last time," Price said. 

"I think he's well suited, it's just whether he's good enough on the day. 

"He's had a good prep that is still on the way up. He's a lightly-framed horse that is going to get better as he gets older. 

"I think if he has good run in the race, he's going to be in the money somewhere."

Racing and Sports