Australian Thoroughbred

A-Z of Australian Horse Racing and Breeding.

11/5/2018 James confident ahead of Derby 

Cambridge trainer Roger James is happy with his Gr.1 South Australian Derby (2500m) contender Sherrif (NZ) (High Chaparral) ahead of Saturday’s feature race at Morphettville. “You don’t travel this far for a Group One without having a good opinion of them,” James said. “He’s only ever had one trial, which he won well and he won his maiden well (over 1400m). The High Chaparral gelding, owned by Cambridge Stud’s Brendan and Jo Lindsay, has only had four career starts to date for two wins, including the Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m). James has discounted his last-start fifth placing on a Heavy 10 track at Counties and believes his runner is in prime condition for Saturday, where his regular rider Leith Innes will be aboard. “He’s come through that run well,” he said. “He had a 14- The lightly raced Sherrif tackles the Gr.1 South Australian Derby at just his fifth start tomorrow hour day stable to stable on Sunday and we have been stabled with Matt Cumani at Ballarat and they have been wonderful. “He couldn’t have ticked any more boxes than he has, I am really happy with him. “He has a good turn of foot, I hope we get a good track so we can see that again.” Although James is happy with Sherrif, he does have some concerns leading into the Derby. “I am very mindful that he is doing it all on his first preparation and that is never easy,” he said. “I am happy with the order he is in but he has to race correctly and we have an awkward barrier at 12. “If he’s switched off and relaxed with a mile to go I am sure he will feature.” – NZ Racing Desk

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