Roger James is on the trail of further Group success in Adelaide. The Cambridge trainer has confirmed a tilt at Saturday week’s Gr.1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville with his exciting staying three-year-old Sherrif.
“All going well he will be on the plane on Sunday to Melbourne and go from there,” James said. “It’s a bit of an ask to do it all on one preparation, but I’m very happy with him.”
Sherrif has won two of his four starts, including a stylish victory in the Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m), and last time out was fifth when unsuited by the heavy going in the Gr.2 Championship Stakes (2100m) at Pukekohe Park.
“I firmly believe it was the track and he has come through the race well,” James said.
The son of High Chaparral and the Danehill mare J’Adane is raced by his breeders Brendan and Jo Lindsay, principals of Cambridge Stud, and he will again be partnered by their contracted rider Leith Innes.
Sheriff will be James’ first South Australian Derby contender, but he has previously enjoyed success in the state.
In 1997, he won the Gr.1 Adelaide Cup (3200m) with Cronus having prepared Te Akau Pearl to finish third in the feature six years earlier.
Meanwhile, Sherrif’s stablemate Hanger, also raced by the Lindsays, has gone for a spell off the back of his close second in the Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa.
“He’s taken a bit of making and a couple of my staff have done a good job with him,” James said.
“He’s always had pace, but he wanted to use it his way and now we’ve got him doing it our way. I think you’ll see him as an exciting four-year-old next season.”– NZ Racing Desk