Sky Raider Steps Up To Take On 2011 SA Derby

May 3rd, 2011

South Australian local Sky Raider is set to take to the field in the Group 1 SA Derby at Morphettville Racecourse this Sunday May 8, 2011.

The three-year-old is fresh from a last start win in the Heartkids SA Handicap, where he won the 2,100 metre race by a convincing three and a half lengths.

The Reset gelding has won two of his five race starts and has only finished worse than second on one occasion.

Trainer Tony McEvoy was full of praise for Sky Raider’s previous horse racing performances.

“He keeps stepping up,” McEvoy said.

“He is a progressive young horse.”

McEvoy was more than impressed with Sky Raider’s last start performance.

“As a three-year-old and carrying 57kg he had a tough task yet was still able to run a second quicker than the other 2100m race on the day,” McEvoy said.

“Sky Raider had to carry the field up to the leader, wobbled around the home turn when he shied at the starting stalls which had been dragged to the inside of the track, then once he got his stride back was really strong to the line.

The trainer is confident that Sky Raider is more than capable of stepping up an extra 400 metres to run in the 2011 SA Derby.

“He has been very strong at the end of his 2100 metre races, is bred to stay and I’m confident he can run the 2500 metres of the Derby,” he said.

“Sky Raider is only three once and to be fit, sound and in-form he is worth a shot at the race.

“Quite often in Derbies, a number of runners don’t stay the trip and Sky Raider gives every indication he will.”

Sky Raider will be hoping to add to his current prize money of $18,800 with a first place prize check of $222,500 in the 2011 SA Derby.

There are currently 27 nominations for the 2011 SA Derby, all vying for a place in the 16 horse starting field.

Also included in the 2011 SA Derby nominations are Peter Snowden’s Backgammon, Mick Price’s Echoes Of Heaven, Leigh Child’s Heez born Lucky, Mark Kavanagh’s Kittens and David Hayes’ Precious Lorraine.

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2011 SA Derby Nominations

No. Horse Trainer Hcp Rating
1 ACHILLES HEEL Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 64
2 AMERICAN JET Libby Haworth 61
3 BACKGAMMON Peter Snowden 80
4 BERTUCCI Lloyd Kennewell 70
5 CONDELAGO Mick Huxtable 84
6 ECHOES OF HEAVEN Mick Price 87
7 EXCLUDED (NZ) Robert Hickmott 71
8 GLACIER KING Peter White 58
9 HANDSOME AS Roslyn Day 57
10 HEEZ BORN LUCKY (NZ) Leigh Childs 75
11 IMPACT POINT John Hickmott 68
12 INTEGRATION (NZ) Robert Hickmott 62
13 JETER John P Thompson 82
14 KING CAN SING Shane Bottomley 52
15 KITTENS Mark Kavanagh 72
16 LALLA ROOKH Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas 74
17 PRECIOUS LORRAINE David Hayes 84
18 RAFFLES KNIGHT Danny O’Brien 66
19 RIALYA Lloyd Kennewell 72
20 RIGHT OF REFUSAL Nigel Blackiston 82
21 ROYALTOWN ROAD Terry Kelly 62
22 SHADOWS IN THE SUN Anthony Cummings 82
23 SKY RAIDER Tony McEvoy 68
24 STARCHEEKA Stephen Mckee 84
25 STRATOCRACY Michael Moroney 66
26 WEIGHTED Robert Hickmott 67
27 ZARJINA Fran Houlahan & Brian Johnston 64