Damien Thornton and Derby hope Ridgewood Drive after their Zipping Handicap win
An emphatic four-length Flemington victory has reignited Ridgewood Drive’s hopes of emulating his half-brother by ending his three-year-old season as a Derby winner.
Trained by Anthony Freedman and guided to victory by Damien Thornton, Ridgewood Drive ($14) settled next to last and swept to victory. Predecessor ($11) ran second with Prism ($11) a further length away in third.
Ridgewood Drive finished sixth at his previous outing in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) at Morphettville on April 13.
“His run in South Australia last start was full of merit, he was three-wide the trip and just kept coming,” said Sam Freedman, son of trainer Anthony.
“His work during the week has been really good and he’s been just improving all the time and looks like an out-and-out stayer.”
Ridgewood Drive could return to Adelaide for next Saturday’s G1 South Australian Derby (2500m) along with stablemate Declarationofheart who won last Saturday's G3 Chairman's Stakes (2032m).
However, if Ridgewood Drive doesn’t recover sufficiently from his Flemington win to race seven days later he’ll be saved for the G1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.
Ridgewood Drive’s half-brother is Sonntag, winner of the 2014 Queensland Derby.
Coincidently, Sonntag won at the corresponding Flemington meeting four years ago when succeeding over 2800 metres.
Meanwhile, Grinzinger Star ($2.15 favourite) finished fourth but lost no admirers in defeat after getting turned sideways on the home turn.
“He was going fine but he got a big bump on the home turn and struggled to pick himself up thereafter with the big weight (58.5kg),” said Ethan Brown, rider of Grinzinger Star.