South Australian Derby Tips & Preview 2024

Image inside sourced from SAJC Facebook

Looking for South Australian Derby tips and best bets? We dissect times and form to find the winner of the 2024 South Australian Derby at Morphettville.


Coco Sun is the $4.60 favourite for the South Australian Derby with PlayUp ahead of the Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained Warmonger at $5.50. The last start Chairman’s Stakes (2000m) winner, Bold Soul, is at $7, while Antrim Coast ($8) and Ahurir ($8.50) are others under double figure odds. 

A capacity field of 16 plus four emergencies are entered in for the $1 million Group 1 and A Samurai Mind is next in the market at $15, while Gold Wolf and Glad You Think So are at $18. Air Assault heads the rest of them at $19. 


Eight contenders had their most recent start in the Group 3 Chairmans Stakes (2000m) at Morphettville on April 27 and it was Bold Soul that came from worse than midfield to score by half a length from Just Brilliant. The Patrick Payne-trained galloper was stepping out for his second run off a nine-week break that followed his triumph in the Tasmanian Derby (2200m) earlier this year and went 1.4 lengths slower than standard benchmark. 

That figure was partly due to the slow early tempo and the son of Embellish ran his last 600m in 35 seconds. Warmonger was the eye-catcher after getting a mile back, coming home in 34.56 and producing the fastest last 200m. He is a logical choice to improve up in trip and was just over a length from the winner at the post. 

Between that pair were Just Berrilant (2nd), Air Assault (3rd) and Tulsa King (4th). Air Assault had a soft lead and was grabbed late. He defeated Warmonger at his run prior over the 1800m but the question mark has to be the 2500m, although he is out of a Zabeel mare. 

Just Berrilant did well as he was up in grade, while Tulsa King produced the third fastest last 200m. Steel Blaze (6th), Shinjuku (7th) and Wariada Warrior (8th) weren’t disgraced and all within two lengths of the winner. 

Best last start benchmark figures belong to Coco Sun, who backs up after placing 3rd in the Australasian Oaks (2000m) last weekend. The Tony & Calvin McEvoy-trained galloper went a healthy 8.7 lengths faster than standard benchmark to run 3rd in what was a tough on-pace effort. She was 5th in the VRC Oaks (2500m) last spring. 

Coco Sun is one of two fillies in the race. The other is the Chris Waller-trained Ahuriri, who defeated the boys at Flemington in the recent VRC St Leger (2800m). Hard to get a gauge on that form as they went very slow in the early to middle stages. She wasn’t quite up them at Group 3 level at her start prior in Sydney behind Good Banter but the form out of that race has been red-hot. 

Three runners come out of the Galilee Series Final (2400m) at Caulfield, including the winner, Gold Wolf, who seemed to enjoy being ridden a tad quieter to defeat the Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) winner Antrim Coast. Gold Wolf went 7.1 lengths faster than standard benchmark. Antrim Coast was three deep and had to go for home a long way out. He was 3rd over the 2400m at Group 1 level in New Zealand behind Orchestral three starts ago. 

Glad You Think So comes down from Sydney after placing 3rd in the Australian Derby (2400m) on a Heavy track behind Riff Rocket. He should find this slightly easier and it will be interesting to see what Blake Shinn does from barrier 15 after the son of So You Think led them up last time at Randwick. 

A Samurai Mind draws well in barrier 5 and is another thereabouts in the market. He will need to produce a personal best and comes off a runner-up on the Parks circuit at Morphettville. Hard to make a case for some of the others in this race. Sunsets is well down on the form he showed in the spring of 2023 when notching up a win in the Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) ahead of Riff Rocket before running 3rd behind that horse in the Victoria Derby (2500m). Outovstock is a last start New Zealander that won at Group 3 level at his most recent start but cops the visitors draw (barrier 18). 


The Chairmans Stakes didn’t rate through the roof but has been a reliable form reference towards the South Australian Derby over the years. Warmonger produced the run of the race in the Group 3 lead up and is one that gives the impression that the 2500m should suit. Tempo should be a bit more genuine in the Derby with the likes of Air Assault and Glad You Think So in action and I am banking on Damian Lane’s ability to find a spot from barrier 14 early on. The best roughie in the race is Glad You Think So, who was brave in defeat when leading them along in the Australian Derby before sticking on gamely for 3rd. He can provide a contest up on the speed.