The wizardry of Darren Weir was on full display at Morphettville last Saturday when he claimed his third successive South Australian Derby with Leicester ($4 favourite).
Having trained Howard Be Thy Name to win the race in 2016 and Volatile Mix last year, Weir joined only the great Bart Cummings (Prince of All, Vacuum and Stormy Rex) as the trainer of an SA Derby hat-trick.
Earlier on the Morphettville card, Weir and jockey Damian Lane got their eye in with the win of the Irish-bred Camdus ($5.50) in the opening event, the benchmark 90 Jeanneret Wines Handicap (1200m).
First up from a spell, Camdus was well back in the early and middle stages but came with a late charge to bring up his seventh win from 19 starts.
Joining forces with another of his regular jockeys, John Allen, Weir landed the middle pin of a treble on the day when $1.70 favourite Peaceful State won the listed Adelaide Galvanising Adelaide Guineas (1600m).
Coming off a last-start victory on the Parks circuit, Peaceful State came from near last to score convincingly.
Tequila too strong
In another highlight at Morphettville, Leon Macdonald notched his sixth SA Sires’ Produce Stakes win with Tequila Time.
One of the few remaining black-type rides for Clare Lindop before she hangs up the saddle in a few weeks, Tequila Time ($3.30 favourite) led all the way to bring up his fourth win from six starts.
The Tony McEvoy-trained Manuel may be headed north after taking last Saturday’s 1400-metre final of the Autumn Series.
Piloted by Luke Currie, Manuel ($6) came from midfield to beat stablemate Set to Sparkle by a half-length and there may be a race or two for him at the Brisbane winter carnival.
Bordertown trainer Jeffery Searle was well pleased with the win of Tildy Lad in the Robert & Fay Gerard SA Sprint Series Final (1100m).
Apprentice Anna Jordsjo had the $17 chance well placed throughout.
Shayne, Joe shine
Shayne Cahill took the riding honours at last Friday’s Naracoorte fixture with a treble on Save Me Ned, Hasta La Bounty and Action In Rio, while Joe Bowditch notched a double at Gawler last Sunday, scoring on Escalator for Lloyd Kennewell and the Gary Searle-prepared Siliconni.
Head for Hawker
With country SA Saturday racing in abeyance over the three weeks of the Adelaide Festival of Racing, the non-TAB action returns on Saturday week at Hawker in the Flinders Ranges.
The Hawker Racing Club will stage the first leg of the Outback Cup Championship at its once-a-year fixture, the main race being the Toyota Hawker Cup (1806m).